Decoration Daywas a holiday that commemorated U.S. Soldiers who died in war. More specifically, it was initially to honor Union and Confederate Soldiers who died in the Civil War, but later changed to honor Soldiers who died in any war. To this day, It is still observed as a federal holiday, but is recognized now as Memorial Day. Still it is observed to honor ALL Soldiers past and present.
Memorial Day is observed every day at Arlington National Cemetery, there is an overwhelming feeling of respect, gratitude, selfless service, and remembrance. At Arlington’s Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, if you are a Veteran or a Soldier currently serving, it is certainly felt. Whether you are a member of the Honor Guard or the mother, father, brother, sister, wife, husband, or child of a Soldier, you know this overwhelming feeling as well. If you are a complete stranger to military service, there is still a measure of this feeling. It is not only felt, it is seen. It is seen in the discipline and precision with the Guarding of the Tomb. It is seen in the tears falling down an observer’s cheek. It is seen in the dress right dress perfection of the cemetery. It is a breathtaking and somber atmosphere of constant honor.
The true meaning and traditions of Memorial Day are sometimes displaced with the fun and excitement of a holiday weekend. Amongst the well deserved fun with family and friends, the cookouts, outdoor activity, traveling, and all the excitement, how will you observe Memorial Day? Take the time to reflect and remember those who have served, those who still serve,and those who gave their lives for their country.