Memorial Day is a day for remembrance of those who have died in service to our countryor as a result of injuries incurred during battle. It was originally called “Decoration Day,” from the early tradition of decorating graves with flowers, wreaths and flags, and the event was first widely observed on 30 May 1868 to commemorate the sacrifices of Civil War soldiers, by proclamation of Gen. John Logan of the Grand Army of the Republic, an organization of former Union sailors and soldiers. During that first national commemoration, former Union general and sitting Ohio Congressman James Garfield made a speech at Arlington National Cemetery, after which 5,000 participants helped decorate the graves of the more than 20,000 Union and Confederate soldiers who were buried there. After World War I, it became an occasion for honoring those who died in all of America’s wars and was then more widely established as a national holiday throughout the United States. In 1971, Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act and established that Memorial Day was to be commemorated each year on the last Monday of May.
Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. (John, 15:13)