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Today is Memorial Day. While many of us will be enjoying a day off of work, spending much-needed time with our families, and celebrating the unofficial start of summer, it's essential that we never forget the real reason behind this somber national holiday. This is a day to honor and remember all who have died while serving in the United States military. Those men and women sacrificed everything for our sake, and they deserve our utmost respect.
The tradition of a day of remembrance for fallen members of the US military began in 1868, under the name Decoration Day. On May 30th, 1868, people throughout the US used flowers to decorate the graves of those who had died in the Civil War. Over the years, the name Memorial Day became more commonly used, and it was declared the holiday's official name in 1967.
If your home or business has a flagpole, please observe Memorial Day by flying the flag at half mast until noon, then raising it to the top of the pole for the remainder of the day. Aside from this simple gesture, we can all take a moment today to remember those who gave their lives while serving in our nation's Armed Forces. Without their ultimate sacrifice, we would not enjoy the freedoms we do today.