Memorial Day weekend marks the official beginning of the summer vacation season. It is a weekend filled with travel, float trips, and gatherings with family and friends. Yet as we celebrate this weekend of fun and relaxation, let’s not forget the roots of this day.
Memorial Day, formerly known as Decoration Day, originated after the American Civil War to commemorate the Union and Confederate soldiers who died in the war. By the 20th century, Memorial Day had been extended to honor all Americans who died while in military service. Red poppies became associated with Memorial Day after a 1915 poem, “In Flanders Fields” refers to the fields of poppies that grew among the soldiers’ graves in Flanders.
Across the country on Memorial Day, ceremonies and parades will be held to honor our fallen soldiers. People will take time to visit cemeteries and lay flowers and flags. Regardless of the weekend plans we have, we should all pause to reflect and pray on the sacrifices our fallen soldiers have given so that we can enjoy the freedoms we have.
Posted: May 22, 2015