Friends and Neighbors,
On this coming Monday May 25th, we as American citizens, observe Memorial Day, a day that serves to commemorate the brave men and women who have given their lives while serving in the military.
Memorial Day originated as ‘Decoration Day’ after the American Civil War in 1868, when the Grand Army of the Republic, an organization of Union veterans established it as a time for the nation to decorate the graves of the war dead with flowers. By the 20th century, competing Union and Confederate holiday traditions, celebrated on different days, had merged, and Memorial Day eventually extended to honor all Americans who died while in the military service. It typically marks the start of the summer vacation season, while Labor Day marks its end.
On Memorial Day, the flag of the United States is raised to the top of the staff and then slowly lowered to the half-staff position, where it remains only until noon. It is then raised to full-staff for the remainder of the day. The half-staff position remembers the more than one million men and women who gave their lives in service of their country. At noon, their memory is raised by the living, who resolve not to let their sacrifice be in vain, but to rise up in their stead and continue the fight for liberty and justice for all.
In 2000, Congress passed the National Moment of Remembrance Act, asking people to stop and remember at 3:00 P.M.
The following link is to the Department of Veterans Affairs’ website, which includes a complete history and description of Memorial Day and links to various Memorial Day resources: http://www.va.gov/opa/speceven/memday/
Please take time this weekend and particularly on Monday to remember those who have given their lives in service to this great nation. We owe them an eternal debt of gratitude for preserving our nation and our freedoms. And thank you to those who have and who continue to serve in our armed forces.
As always if you have any questions or comments do not hesitate to contact my office at firstname.lastname@example.org or 651-296-5655.
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