Home News The True Meaning of Memorial Day

The True Meaning of Memorial Day

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Old Mission War Memorial | Mary Johnson Photo

(Rudy Rudolph, Post Commander of the American Legion Garland-Tompkins Post 399 in Old Mission, offers a reminder about the true meaning of Memorial Day. Also, if you’re out and about, stop by the Legion and check out the beautiful flag flying high atop the building – on the left just before you get to Haserot Beach. And don’t forget the Legion Dinners on the first and third Tuesday each month – help put a new roof on the Legion Hall. – jb)

This coming Monday is Memorial Day in the United States. Since 1971, Memorial Day has been defined as the last Monday in the month of May. For many of us, it is a weekend that commemorates the “beginning of summer,” replete with family gatherings and barbecues. Here in Michigan, it may be the date we target to launch our boat for the season.

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But it is important for all of us to keep in mind the reason we have this holiday. It is a Federal Holiday dedicated to the memory of members of the United States Armed Forces who have died in service.

Memorial Day, or “Decoration Day,” as it was originally known in the late 1860’s, originated to commemorate the dead soldiers from the Civil War. Usually, these “Decoration Days” were state holidays, and it wasn’t until after the two World Wars that the move came to make it a generalized day of mourning across the country.

So this Memorial Day, take a few moments to think on all the soldiers, sailors, Marines, airmen, Coast Guardsmen and merchant mariners who have fallen in service to the United States. And, thank you for caring.

– Rudy Rudolph, Post Commander, American Legion Garland-Tompkins Post 399

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