For many, Memorial Day has lost its meaning

That war ended in the spring of 1865 and claimed more lives than any other conflict in American history. This is what Memorial Day is all about - recognizing those who died for the Home of the fearless and the Land of the Free.

"Just for a little bit of clarity - Veterans Day is for those who have served in the military and are still living".

Memorial Day. The unofficial start of summer.

Families filled the chapel in the Northampton VA Medical Center for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs annual Memorial Day service.

Across the country, humble tributes occurred on that first Decoration Day.

Decoration Day first was marked in 1868, when the Grand Army of the Republic, an organization of Union veterans founded in Decatur, Ill., established it as a time for the nation to decorate the graves of the Union war dead with flowers.

Today is Memorial Day.

They were remembering those who died serving our country.

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As a veteran myself, my hope is that we never lose sight of the true meaning of Memorial Day, and always remember that freedom isn't necessarily free.

The pleasures this holiday weekend affords and, more importantly, the incalculable daily blessing of living in a free land were paid for in part with the blood of American soldiers. Many Americans observe Memorial Day by visiting cemeteries or memorials, holding family gatherings and participating in parades.

Jim Segletes, 65, a Vietnam-era Marine visiting the grave of his father-in-law, a World War II veteran who died in 2000, said he thinks Americans became more patriotic and aware of military sacrifice after 9/11.

As we celebrate Memorial Day, pause during this observance to the visit the memorial at Veterans Park in Cullman and read the names of those who died in service.

By 1966 Waterloo was official declared the birthplace of Memorial Day, by the federal government.

Unfortunately, much of the nation has lost touch with this original goal of the day, especially for those who have no close ties to the military. In 1968 Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, which made Memorial Day the last Monday in May.

For years, they have gone without the thanks they deserve for their service.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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