1.3 Million Reasons we Celebrate Memorial Day
Memorial Day is when Americans remember those who have lost their lives while serving in the US military. According to AAA, approximately 32 Million Americans traveled this past Memorial Day weekend. Roughly 54% of American households fired up the grill and ate an estimated of 60,000,000 pounds of steaks, burgers and hot dogs in celebration of the holiday. 1,200 of 300,000,000 of us did something completely different, but the very same thing they have been doing since the 1950’s. From the Thursday before Memorial Day through Memorial Day, 1,200 members of The Old Guard, the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment, place small flags on over 240,000 graves at Arlington National Cemetery and patrol the cemetery 24 hours a day to ensure each flag remains standing and honoring our protectors.
Originally Decoration Day, first observed May 30, 1868 and now the holiday we call Memorial Day began at the close on one of the darkest chapters in American history, the Civil War. 700,000 Americans were lost during the Civil War, and Decoration Day was created to “decorate” the graves of all of our lost soldiers with flowers in remembrance. We as Americans lost more fathers, brothers and sons in that one war than all of the other conflicts America has been involved in, combined. Approximately 1,350,000 Americans have been lost serving in the military, or 15 soldiers for every day this nation has been in existence since the Declaration of Independence exactly 86,524 days ago from today. Think about that for a second. The freedoms you and I enjoy today have come at a cost of one American soldier for every 90 minutes we have existed as a nation.
I hope you enjoyed Memorial Day; soaking up the new memories that were created this past weekend. Spending time with your family and friends, looking at their faces and remembering the times you had with those that are gone. Memorial Day has come at significant expense; do not take it for granted. I hope you had a safe and be happy weekend, enjoying the ground we call home. The 1.35 million people that made the ultimate sacrifice would you want you to enjoy every freedom they died protecting. Memorial Day is about the reconciliation of a nation. It is about looking at the country as a whole, without borders, and coming together to honor those who gave their all. There are hundreds of words I could write to describe my feelings, but I think two words sum it up best. Thank you.