On Memorial Day you listen to the news anchors on any channel say, "It's the unofficial start of summer." In actuality it was promoted to honor Civil War dead as a tradition with the Union veterans' organization, known as the GAR, the Grand Army of the Republic. Originally named Decoration Day, New York was the first state to designate it as such. By 1890 all northern states followed suit.
In 1971 the National Holiday Act made Memorial Day part of a three day weekend, which took away from the intended meaning of the observance.
Memorial Day covers 239 years with 62 military actions that have claimed 1.2 million lives. No, Freedom is not FREE!
Memorial Day is a day for honoring the soldiers who gave the last full measure in wartime, and you may respect those soldiers by flying the American flag, watching a parade, attending a Memorial Day service, or at least talking about it and its meaning with family and friends.
Thank you to everyone who has ever attended or participated in a Memorial Day service in Cannon Falls. If you have never been to a Memorial Day service hosted by veterans in a local cemetery, I invite you to attend one. Bring a lawn chair and umbrella for sun or rain, but do attend and help honor the soldiers who paid the greatest price for our freedoms.