Three-day weekends, barbecues and the unofficial first day of summer are some of the things we think of when we think about Memorial Day but on this, the last Monday of May 2010 let us remember what the day is really about.
Originally known as Decoration Day, Memorial Day was officially proclaimed on 5 May 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, in his General Order No. 11, and was first observed on 30 May 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery. The first state to officially recognize the holiday was New York in 1873. By 1890 it was recognized by all of the northern states and it was declared a federal holiday in 1971.
Today, as we enjoy the day with family and friends let us also take time to remember those who served in the United States military, the heroes who gave their lives for the freedoms we hold so dear.