by Roy Steele
We resolve not to let their sacrifice be in vain, but to rise up in their stead and continue the fight for equality, liberty, and justice for all.
Memorial Day is our remembrance day, when we honor and remember the brave members of the Armed Services who lost their lives while serving their country.
This federal holiday began in the 1860’s, and was called “Decoration Day,” because family members decorated the graves of their loved ones who died during the Civil War.
The holiday, which is observed every year 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 — 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.
Memorial Day endures as a “Monday” holiday which most businesses observe because it marks the unofficial beginning of summer. The Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) and Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War (SUVCW) advocate returning to the original date, although the significance of the date is tenuous. The VFW stated in a 2002 Memorial Day Address “Changing the date merely to create three-day weekends has undermined the very meaning of the day. No doubt, this has contributed a lot to the general public’s nonchalant observance of Memorial Day.”I think that it’s particularly fitting to remember the LGBT members of the Armed Forces who died lost their lives in the heat of battle.
I think we're all thankful for the invaluable contributions and sacrifices that our gay brothers and sisters made to ensure that we all enjoy liberty and freedom.
Ahead of Memorial Day weekend, the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment, the distinguished Old Guard, honors the nation’s fallen soldiers each year by planting more than 228,000 American flags at every grave marker in Arlington National Cemetery. The annual “Flags-In” ceremony echoes the origins of Memorial Day traditions, when both Confederate and Union soldiers decorated the graves of their fallen compatriots after the Civil War. Photographer Brooks Kraft (@bkraft) captured this year’s ceremony on Thursday in a time lapse that shows more than 1000 soldiers planting the flags over four hours. Photographs by Brooks Kraft—Corbis for TIME. See the full video on time.com
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