Memorial Day: Honoring lost lives

Many people in Minot and communities across North Dakota and this nation will pay tribute on Monday, Memorial Day, at programs held to honor men and women who lost their lives while defending this country.

It is fitting that local veterans’ organizations, their auxiliaries and other patriotic organizations figure prominently in such observances, remembering those who gave their all for this nation.

Memorial Day is a people’s day of remembrance, originating in the sorrow of parents and other relatives and friends over the loss of military members.

Originally called Decoration Day, the first Decoration Day ceremony was held at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia, on May 30, 1868. The name Memorial Day gradually became more common after World War II. The federal government didn’t adopt the name until 1967 and in 1971, Congress declared Memorial Day to be held the last Monday in May.

Many communities continue to hold Memorial Day programs to carry on the tradition and to highlight its importance, even though in some of the communities the numbers of veterans to present the program has declined.

Although Memorial Day is an annual day of remembrance to honor those who died while serving this country, it’s also a period of time when people traditionally make their annual visits to cemeteries to place flowers and similar decorations not only on the graves of veterans but on graves of other loved ones – family members and friends – who have passed on.

On this day we urge you to remember the importance of Memorial Day.

You can attend a local Memorial Day program or other special event, display the American flag outside your home or business, take a moment of silence or find another way to pay tribute on this day to the sacrifice of U.S. service members who gave their lives in fighting for our freedom.


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