What are your Memorial Day thoughts? Each year on Memorial Day a national moment of remembrance takes place at 3:00 p.m. local time. This is a commemoration for those who have fought and given their lives for our country beginning after the Civil War.

Americans have celebrated Memorial Day since the late 1860s. It started out as Decoration Day. Citizens in numerous cities and towns held springtime tributes to honor countless fallen Union soldiers. During the same time period, celebrations for Confederate soldiers occurred on a different day in May. Family members and friends decorated these heroes’ graves with flowers and said prayers. After World War I, the government combined the two holidays and named the resulting holiday Memorial Day. This was a celebration to honor all Americans who had given their lives to protect the United States. The holiday was celebrated on May 30th.

The US Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act in 1968. This action created Memorial Day and set the observance for the last Monday in May. The result of that legislation created a three-day weekend for federal employees and declared Memorial Day a federal holiday.

This year it is a fitting time to feel gratitude for all who have made the ultimate sacrifice to allow us the opportunities we all enjoy today. This Monday take a few minutes or more to honor these noble men and women as we welcome the beginning of summer.

Les Merritt and his staff wish you a fruitful and safe summer and hope you will take a few moments in your abundant lives to give thanks. We are privileged to live in this great country and to enjoy lives that would not have been possible without the efforts of these guardians of our freedom.

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