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Reflect On What Memorial Day Means to You, Even After The Day Has Passed

Memorial Day is a day about honoring, remembering, and mourning the lives of loved ones.

Reflect On What Memorial Day Means to You, Even After The Day Has Passed
Barbara Myers

As our nation is slowly dividing, I find it hard to understand the lack of respect some Americans have for the men and women that have sacrificed their lives for our freedom. Patriotism has a price and that cost is in the form of lives – not flags, songs, or words in Tweet. As a widow of a veteran, I walk with protesters and demonstrate my patriotic right to voice my opinion when my civil rights or the rights of others are abused.

I am disappointed with our government turning a blind eye to the rights of every citizen and calling it patriotism. These elected officials spend most of their time finding fault in the actions of protestors for political gain. It frightens me to read bigoted comments on social media criticizing protestors and applauding the abusive measures our government is taking to control the civil rights of many. Patriotism is not only the love of our country, but also the love of our citizens, no matter their gender, race, or religious beliefs. The rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are for all Americans.

On this Memorial Day, my wish is that we as patriotic Americans take time and reflect on how many lives were lost in battles to protect our freedom. We should also remember and thank the many men and women on foreign soil today that are willing to give their lives as well.

This holiday came to be after the bloodiest war on American soil and it is known as "Decoration Day." In 1865, approximately 620,000 soldiers perished during the Civil War. On May 30, 1865, flowers were scattered on graves to honor all the soldiers that lost their lives in the war. Over the years the date of the holiday and definition has changed. The last Monday in May became the government holiday that all Americans observe. Although, May 30th is the official day of remembrance.

In the past, Memorial Day was more about the lost lives and less about the back-yard barbeque. After World War II, the nation was overwhelmed with patriotic pride, and flags were flown high and proud of all Americans that fought for our freedom. Memorial Day was a day to pay respect to the military and their families for their sacrifice. After September 11, 2001, the nation saw patriotism begin to grow in a different way, the nation included men and women of our police and fire departments and their families in this day of mourning.

Memorial Day is a day of honoring, remembering, and mourning the lives of loved ones. The lost men and women that made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom and protection. However, these days, most consider this an opportunity to celebrate the beginning of the summer season. Many will have cook-outs and only a few will go to the cemetery and leave flowers or flags on gravesites.

If someone wishes you a "Happy Memorial Day," please remind them it is not a day of joyful celebration but a day of mourning. And to all the veterans, thank you for your service.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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