Honoring and remembering this Memorial Day

Published 3:52 pm Friday, May 24, 2019

Did you know that 55 percent of Americans don’t know the real meaning of Memorial Day and how it’s different from Veteran’s Day? That fact is according to the Old Farmer’s Almanac.

Memorial Day is being recognized Monday, and the day is a U.S. federal holiday that is observed on the last Monday of May. The day is set aside to honor the men and women who have died while serving in the military.

There is a difference between Memorial Day and Veterans Day. It is customary to spend time remembering and honoring the countless veterans who have served the United States, but there is a distinction between these two holidays.

Memorial Day memorializes the men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice while in the military service of their country, particularly those who died in battle or as a result of wounds received in battle. It is a day to remember those who lost their lives and could not make it home, reflecting on their service and why we have the freedoms that we enjoy today.

Veterans Day thanks and honors all who served, in both war and times of peace, regardless of whether they lived or died. Veterans Day is always observed on Nov. 11.

It is traditional on Memorial Day that people visit cemeteries and memorials, and volunteers will place American flags on each grave site at national cemeteries. Each year, a national moment of remembrance is held at 3 p.m. local time.

The specific origin of Memorial Day, or Decoration Day as it was first known, is unclear but no less than 25 places have been named in connection with the origin of Memorial Day. In 1971, Memorial Day became a national holiday by an act of Congress and is now celebrated annually on the last Monday of May.

Many consider Memorial Day weekend the unofficial start of summer, but Summer Solstice isn’t until June 21. Memorial Day weekend also marks one of the biggest travel days of the year.

According to AAA, nearly 43 million Americans are expected to be on the road this Memorial Day weekend for their first vacation of the season, and that number is approximately 1.5 million more travelers than last year and the highest amount since 2005.

From everyone here at the Middlesboro Daily News, we want to say thank you to those men and women who paid the ultimate price. We will always remember the sacrifices of our nation’s heroes and we are deeply grateful.