2006-05-25 / Editorial

Memorial Day: A time to remember

Monday is Memorial Day. Here in Jamestown we'll observe the annual national holiday with a parade through the village, followed by a ceremony at the Veterans Memorial Square at East Ferry.

Memorial Day is a holiday that for many marks the beginning of the summer season. Many consider the holiday just another threeday weekend. Folks will be enjoying the great outdoors, whether sailing, golfing, bicycling, or gardening is the chosen pastime. Families and friends will gather for cookouts, and then we'll go back to work on Tuesday.

Some of us have forgotten that Memorial Day has a more somber side. Memorial Day was originally referred to as Decoration Day, a time set aside to honor our nation's Civil War dead. Today, we remember and honor those who have died in our nation's service.

Memorial Day was first observed in May of 1868 when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery. The observance grew state by state over years. After World War I, the observance was expanded to include all of those who died in U.S. wars. It wasn't until 1971 that Congress declared Memorial Day a national holiday.

This Memorial Day is especially significant as American men and women continue to go in harm's way in the service of their country. Take a few moments to remember and honor those who have made the greatest sacrifice.

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