Today is Memorial Day, a time to honor all of the people who died while serving in the U.S. military. Though it only became a federal holiday in 1971, its roots reach back to 1868, after the Civil War, when it was known as Decoration Day. On that first day, about 20,000 Union and Confederate graves at the Arlington National Cemetery were decorated. And for almost 40 years, this holiday only commemorated those who died during the Civil War. However, during World War I, this holiday expanded to include commemorating all U.S. service personnel who died in any war.
Although today is also seen by many as the unusual start of summer, and a time for parties and grilling, please take a little time to reflect on the meaning of the day, and to give thanks to all those service personnel who made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. Unfortunately, each year, the total number of those who make that sacrifice continues to grow. This isn't just a remembrance of the past, but also reflects what is still going on around the world.
I strongly urge you to check out the touching words of my friend Fred Minnick, who does a much better job than I talking about Memorial Day.
(There is no Rant today in honor of Memorial Day.)