To many Americans, Memorial Day has lost its meaning

They will be remembered during an event at 10 a.m. today at Oak Hill Cemetery hosted by Lawrence's American Legion Post. As a fifth-generation Montanan, and son of a Marine, I have been surrounded by men and women who have made sacrifices for our country and have always been reminded to honor those who died in combat.

"I think it's important for each individual to go out and honor those traditions, honor those institutions that bring us together as a community, as a nation", he said.

Memorial Day originated with the practice of women decorating the graves of fallen soldiers during the Civil War, a simple gesture to honor and remember those who died fighting. The Legion members who placed the flags at Mountain View on May 16 represented every branch of the military except for the Coast Guard.

We celebrate Memorial Day with bands playing stirring marches, patriotic ceremonies, veterans proudly saluting the flag and flowers blooming over graves. He credited Jeff Sukeforth and Rosey Gerry for getting the word out through their chapter newsletter.

About 200 veterans of the Vietnam era received a commemorative pin from the Vietnam Unforgettable Memories Foundation, a group of women whose mission is to thank American veterans for their service. It was originally called Decoration Day, because people would put flowers on the graves of fallen servicemen.

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The Legion and Lower Burrell Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 92 switch off parade duties every year, Zdila said. State legislatures passed proclamations designating the day, and the Army and Navy adopted regulations for proper observance at their facilities.

The order creating Memorial Day's forerunner, Decoration Day, came from Commander-in-Chief of the Grand Army of the Republic John A. Logan on May 5, 1868, Mockler said.

An article on www.huffingtonpost.com provided some facts and figures about Memorial Day for me and others that skipped history class that day. I believe that, insofar as it is possible, it is virtuous to remember the dead who gave birth to us and/or contributed much to our lives or who gave their lives for our well-being (freedoms, opportunities, etc.).

Today is the last day of an extended holiday weekend. Its goal was to honor all veterans and recognize those still serving. Under each of these crosses lies a loved one, a hero - someone who sacrificed for each of us. Various Washington officials, including Gen. and Mrs. Ulysses S. Grant, presided over the ceremonies. It's a time to honor their sacrifice by rededicating ourselves to the job of making this country worthy of these sacrifices-by cultivating the virtues of tolerance, engagement, respect and liberty that have made America great in the past-and will keep her great if we will honor and practice them now.

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