Four facts about the history of Memorial Day

It's the unofficial start to the summer vacation season.

"These are people who, in the prime of their life, stopped what they were doing and put their nation first", Ellis said.

General James Garfield spoke at Arlington National Cemetery.

"We try to get out to all the graves and remember all of our fallen veterans", Kvam said.

Veterans Day celebrates the service of all US military veterans. Gen. John A. Logan declared that Decoration Day should be observed on May 30.

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In the Civil War, 620,000 soldiers were killed.

Originally known as "Decoration Day", it was a time to honor the fallen Civil War Soldiers by decorating their graves with flowers. On Memorial Day, we honor their sacrifice.

When you Google Memorial Day, some of the first items to come up in the results include the best Memorial Day sales of 2017 on refrigerators and washers, and the 10 most popular Memorial Day travel destinations for 2017. "There's not a black America and white America and Latino America and Asian America; there's the United States of America ..." In Britain and France, Veterans Day is called Armistice Day, while Memorial Day is called Monday (well, "lundi" in France). The war dead are all around us but mostly forgotten 364 days of the year, until Decoration Day comes 'round again. The La Plata County Historical Society's recent publication, History La Plata, is devoted to World War I's local impact. Go to the Memorial Day Parade that begins at 11 a.m. today at the corner of Parnell Avenue and State Boulevard and ends with a ceremony at the Veteran's Plaza outside the Memorial Coliseum. In 1968, Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act. The law took effect at the federal level in 1971.

Moving of the date did cause some controversy. The people who gave everything they had so that we may live in a free society. "Parents will continue to grieve for their heroic sons and daughters that died way too early", he says "We need to be there for them not just as members of the American Legion family, but as American citizens". Inouye died in 2012.

Invited to speak to high school students in Allentown, Pennsylvania, she said she told them, "What is the true meaning of Memorial Day?".

  • Phil Peters