My maternal grandfather served in the United States Army during World War II. He was stationed in the Pacific Ocean on the island of New Guinea. My step-grandfather flew planes for the US Navy during World War II. My paternal grandfather joined the US Army at age 16. My father served in Special Forces and fought in Vietnam. I have other family members, like my cousin Dana who served in the National Guard, and very dear friends, like Wendy who I grew up with in youth group and went on to serve in the US Army, Neil who attended High School with me and went on to serve in the Marines, and Doug who was in college with me and served in the Reserves as well as other friends who have served in every branch of the United States Armed Services to promote peace and keep our nation free. This post is dedicated to each one of them in thanks for their service. I'm blessed because God brought each one of them safely home to us. Not every one is as lucky. Some give the ultimate sacrifice of their lives. Memorial Day is the day we remember them and the gift they gave each one of us. To them, we say Thank you. For their families, we pray.
On the last Monday in May, we celebrate Memorial Day, to commemorate the men and women who died while serving their country. At 3:00 PM local time, a national moment of silence is observed to honor their memory. The tradition of Memorial Day actually started five years after the Civil War on May 30, 1868. It was originally referred to as Decoration Day because volunteers would decorate the graves of fallen soldiers with flowers, wreaths, and flags. In 1971, Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act that established Memorial Day as a holiday to be celebrated on the last Monday in the month of May.