Memorial Day

42 Evanston - Evanston , IL

Memorial Day
by Michael L. Wojciechowski

Memorial Day was originally known as Decoration Day. It started being celebrated after the Civil War to commemorate those honorable warriors that paid the ultimate sacrifice while in battle. Memorial Day is not to be confused with Veterans Day, Armed Forces Day or Military Appreciation Month. Memorial Day falls on the last Monday of May. This year, that would be on May 27, 2024.

It became a federal holiday in 1971. The American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), help coordinate with volunteers, including the Scouts, to help honor those fallen troops. American flags are put on graves of the brave men and women who gave their lives for their country. There are celebrations and services that help honor living veterans, the families of fallen troops and the communities that they lived in.

As a veteran, I understand the history of the American military and the number of sacrifices we make. When we took the oath of office, we gave the government a blank check, hoping that they never have to cash it. Many civilians don’t understand that the oath of enlistment does not expire. We are true patriots, willing to shed our blood for our country, family and its citizens.

I celebrated my 69th birthday, and I recall a number of neighbors, friends and family whose names are enshrined on the Vietnam Veterans Wall Memorial in Washington D.C. I remember watching movies of the unfortunate families receiving that visit and being handed a telegram from the U.S. Department of War, regretfully informing them of the death of their family member.

Lest we forget the price that these valiant warriors paid to protect our country, their families and their brothers and sisters in battle. May they all rest in peace for a job well done.

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