What does Memorial Day mean to you?
Picnics and playing in the park? Hitting the pool for opening day? Not having to work on Monday?
For many, Memorial Day is the unofficial first day of summer, though the calendar might say June 21. But that’s not what it is supposed to be.
Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, was a day set aside to honor those who died preserving the Union in the Civil War. It was first observed on May 30, 1868. It was called Decoration Day because it was a day of decorating graves of dead soldiers with flowers.
It’s these roots that the Memorial Day Foundation wants our nation to return to, and has been increasing awareness and respect for Memorial Day since 2000 to accomplish that goal. The group’s stated belief is “Memorial Day has been ignored by too many of us who are beneficiaries of those who have sacrificed their lives for our freedom and liberty.”
In 2000, the National Moment of Remembrance was created by President Bill Clinton. This annual 1-minute pause is to be observed at 3 p.m. (local time) on Memorial Day. In that minute, the foundation urges, remember and reflect on the sacrifices made to provide freedom for all — for you. Take the minute to honor the true meaning of the day and to pay respects to those who laid down their lives so that you may go free.
There’s much to be respectful of.
Since our country’s inception, more than 42 million American men and women have served in time of war, according to the Department of Defense.
More than a million died for their country.
These are sacrifices that need to be remembered and honored.
If you’re now asking yourself how you go about doing that, here’s some ideas from the Memorial Day Foundation:
• By visiting cemeteries and placing flags or flowers on the graves of our fallen heroes.
• By flying the U.S. Flag at half-staff until noon. Memorial Day is a day of “National Mourning.”
• By attending religious services of your choice.
• By visiting memorials.
• By participating in a “National Moment of Remembrance” at 3 p.m. local time, to pause and think upon the meaning of the day and for taps to be played where possible.
• By renewing a pledge to aid the widows, and orphans of our fallen dead, and to aid the disabled veterans.
We encourage you to take some time out of your festivities Monday and do at least one of these.
What does Memorial Day mean to you?
- THEIR VIEW: Indiana needs open primary elections Indiana's primary election system is dysfunctional. What the state really needs is an open primary system. This month, the Lake County election board argued about the procedures for recruiting high school students as poll workers for the May 6 primar
- KITCHELL: Tax bills show what smoke & mirrors don't There's a price to be paid for the decline in what we call civic engagement -- and local property taxpayers are paying that price. In case you haven't received your 2014 Cass County property tax statement yet, be prepared for a bit of sticker shock w
- MARCUS: Illinois brings joy to Indiana From the email this week, I sensed a profound need by Hoosiers to find joy in the problems of Illinois. Our neighbors to the west are fighting their way through a mess of their own making. They have forced themselves to raise taxes and cut services t
- THEIR VIEW: Let voters weigh option of easing daily commute There was a time in this country when workers typically lived less than an hour's walk from their jobs. A time when a "commuter" was simply a traveler taking advantage of a reduced railway fare on his way to the big city. A time when the American sub
- VILLAGE IDIOT: Wait a minute here — what did I just sign? When Dr. Sam said, "You've got the prostate of a 16-year-old," it was hard to keep from beaming. This must be how a woman feels when a complete stranger tells her she has a beautiful baby. Well, maybe not quite. Still, it was hard not to feel proud o
- LYONS: How we devalued the 'R' word At the risk of angering somebody like MSNBC's Melissa Harris-Perry, I sometimes used to joke that I only look white. Actually, I'm Irish. Meaning basically that I wasn't raised to think the man in the big house had all the answers, nor deserved all t
- HAYDEN: Want better teacher ratings? Ask the kids The state may be back where it started, encumbered with a flawed teacher grading system, a year after implementing what were meant to be tough new standards. That was the general consensus of the State Board of Education days after teacher evaluation
- THEIR VIEW: Careful look at tax structure needed Indiana legislators this year created a "blue-ribbon commission" to study the state's taxes on businesses this summer. We hope the commission will listen to Larry DeBoer, a Purdue professor who might understand Indiana's tax structure better than any
- KNISELY: Adventures in cat spaying If you're a regular reader of this column, you know I have a cat. I got the cat to deal with the mice. Even if you only pop in on this column from time to time, you still likely know I have mice and that I hate them. I complain about it quite regular
- PUBLIC FORUM: Letters for Sunday, April 20, 2014 Power forum hopes to answer questions Do you pay electric bills? Then you are invited to learn how Public Power can often lower electric rates. Logansport's coal firing plant must be shut down within two years, and our contract with Duke expires in f
- More Opinion Headlines