Too often we get caught up in the three day weekends, cookouts and the sales at the local department stores when the holidays roll around, and the true meaning of the holiday, while it's still there, tends to get pushed to the back of our minds while participating in our planned events. Decoration Day, better known as Memorial Day, is a day dedicated to the brave fallen men and women of our military. This is not only a day to remember those who have lost their lives in combat, but also to remember those that have served in our armed forces in general. It is a day in which throughout history, people have gone to the cemeteries and planted flowers on the graves of their loved ones.
Our nation's flag represents all that this country stands for. It represents the men and women that stood for our country and lost their lives. It represents all that are still standing for this great nation as well as all that will stand and fight in its honor in the future. It represents the heart of America and how we feel as a whole. It should be treated with pride, honor and respect. Old Glory, when the people it represents are in mourning, should be placed at half staff. Proper flag etiquette tells us that all of our American Flags, on Memorial Day should be at half staff until noon, and then placed at full staff again from noon until sunset. To do this properly, hoist the flag to the peak for an instant, and then lower it to a position half way between the top and the bottom of the staff, raise it again to the peak for a moment of silence and remembrance then lower it again to half staff. This shows others that we're missing our loved ones, and while we're sad, we're celebrating the lives of great men and women.
From sea to sea, America is full of traditions. For generations, on Memorial Day, people visit the graves of their late loved ones that served in the armed forces, plant flowers and decorate the eternal resting places. As stated earlier, sometimes we get caught up in doing other things that we often forget these traditions. One of the traditions forgotten is the moment of silence. The "National Moment of Remembrance" resolution was passed in December 2000, asking that all Americans at their local time of 3 p.m. voluntarily take a moment of silence and create their own way of honoring, respecting and remembering those we've lost, or take a moment and listen to "Taps". This is such a sacred and special day to so many people, and if it is special to you, please let others know of your plans for taking part in these traditions. Hopefully, this will remind others what this day is all about, and the men and women that have fought and died can be remembered as it was originally intended for the holiday.
To anyone reading this, if you have lost a uniformed hero, I'm very sorry for your loss. Please know that you and yours will be in my thoughts and prayers always. It's never easy to say goodbye to someone we love; however, it is a time to celebrate their lives and be thankful that such great men and women lived. God bless America and all that fought for her.
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