Memorial Day is a federal holiday in the United States for remembering the people who died while serving in the country's armed forces.
The holiday, which is observed on the last Monday of May, originated as Decoration Day after the American Civil War in 1868 when the Grand Army of the Republic, an organization of Union veterans founded in Decatur, Illinois, established it as a time for decorating the graves of the Union dead with flowers.
By the 20th century, various unions and other organizations had begun holding Memorial Day events. In 1971, Memorial Day was declared a national holiday by an act of Congress.
Despite its origins, Memorial Day has become primarily a day of commemoration and remembrance for all those who have died serving in the United States Armed Forces.
Many people visit cemeteries and military memorials on Memorial Day to honor and mourn those who have died. Others observe the holiday by participating in parades or other public events, or by simply flying the flag of the United States at half-staff from sunrise until noon.
These days, it appears the meaning behind Memorial Day can get lost in the festivities of time off from work, backyard barbecues, gatherings with family and friends, and so on.
While it is important to enjoy the freedoms we have as a result of the sacrifices made by others and their families, we shouldn't lose sight of the true meaning why we stop and celebrate.
While Memorial Day is not intended to be a day of mourning, it is nevertheless a somber occasion marked by reflection and respect.
Enjoy your time today with your loved ones. Try to stop to remember those who made many of the things we enjoy possible through their ultimate sacrifice.
Shoot Straight, Georgia.