Remember our nation's heroes this Memorial Day
This Monday is Memorial Day, a time to honor those intrepid men and women who have given their lives in the defense of our nation. We'll commemorate the day with an annual parade down Narragansett Avenue, followed by a ceremony at the Veterans Memorial Square at East Ferry.
Monday is a work holiday. The island folk will play in the great outdoors. Families and friends will gather for cookouts.
On a historical note, Memorial Day has a somber side. Originally referred to as Decoration Day, the holiday was created to honor our nation's many 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 the 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. The day is legally observed on the last Monday in May. The traditional observance is May 30.
American men and women continue to go in harm's way in the service of their country. Right or wrong, our country is still fighting battles in far away lands and U.S. soldiers are dying every day. Take a few moments this Monday to remember and honor those who have made the greatest sacrifice.
Memorial Day is a time to honor our nation's real heroes.
- Jeff McDonough