Memorial Day is a day of remembrance for those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in service to our country. Originally called Decoration Day, Memorial Day was borne out of the Civil War and our citizens’ desire to honor our fallen heroes by decorating their graves with flowers, and later our flag. We continue that tradition of respect and remembrance today by honoring the generations of men and women who sacrificed their lives for our nation, standing as a solemn reminder that freedom is never free.
This year marks the 100th anniversary of the United States’ entry into World War I, the “war to end all wars” in which more than 4.7 million Americans served and more than 100,000 of whom gave their lives to help restore peace in Europe, and the world. This Memorial Day we take time to remember and honor the sacrifice of those brave men and women who, a century ago, never returned home to their family members and loved ones.
As President Donald J. Trump said in his May 24 presidential proclamation, “Memorial Day is our Nation’s solemn reminder that freedom is never free. It is a moment of collective reflection on the noble sacrifices of those who gave the last measure of devotion in service of our ideals and in the defense of our Nation. On this ceremonious day, we remember the fallen, we pray for a lasting peace among nations, and we honor these guardians of our inalienable rights.”
As we honor the fallen, Americans will observe a National Moment of Remembrance beginning at 3:00 p.m. local time on Memorial Day, Monday, May 29.