As we approach Memorial Day, most of us get excited for a three day weekend, family cookouts, and the unofficial beginning of summer. The true significance of Memorial Day, however, can far too often get lost in these activities that have become synonymous with the holiday, so I wanted to take this opportunity to remind everyone what Memorial Day is truly about.
Memorial Day is always the last Monday of May. Formerly known as Decoration Day, its origin can be traced back to the Civil War. Northerners began decorating the graves of Union soldiers, a practice that caught the attention of General John Logan. Logan proclaimed that Decoration Day, celebrated for the first time on May 30, 1865, would be a day of national remembrance. After World War II, the day was officially named Memorial Day and declared a national holiday under federal law in 1967.
Across America, Memorial Day will be commemorated with ceremonies, concerts, and parades. Close to home, here in Ohio's First Congressional District, you can find a list of events going on in the tri-state by clicking here. I hope you can take a moment to participate in one of the many activities that commemorate the memories of our fallen heroes.
No matter what your plans are this weekend, I hope you'll take the time to stop and remember the true meaning behind your day off work. By honoring the brave men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom, we continue to make their memory a lasting presence in our American culture. They made America the land of the free and the home of the brave, and we must not take their sacrifice for granted.
I offer a most sincere thank you to our troops and their families, those serving now and in the past. We honor your service, this Monday and every day.
God Bless America.