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Memorial Day 2017, Saluting Our Fallen Warriors

Happy Memorial Day 2017! I know that many see today as the official start of summer as theme parks open and the BBQ grills are dusted off. Memorial Day is about honoring the men and women who died for our country. The holiday has its roots back to the Civil War. Originally, in 1868, today was known as Decoration Day in the Northern states. A veterans group in Decatur, Illinois started the holiday by decorating the graves of those who died while serving in the Union Army. Usually with wreaths and flowers. In the South, Memorial Day began in 1866 in Columbus, Georgia. For a time, they called it Confederate Memorial Day. Over time, the practice expanded to marking the graves of all who died serving in the military. This is the distinction between Memorial Day and Veterans Day. On Veterans Day, we honor all who served and still serve, whereas on Memorial Day, it is reserved to honor veterans who died.




At first, these Decoration Day ceremonies were held on different days across the nation. Most held the ceremonies on a Sunday, usually between late April through early July since many types of flowers begin to bloom. Some accounts put such grave decorating ceremonies first in several Southern states as early as 1862, while the National Gettysburg Cemetery had such on July 4, 1864. Michigan was the first state to make Decoration Day and official holiday in 1871. Southern states usually held their holiday on April 26 while Northern states were late May through June. By 1880, every state had an official holiday. Some began calling it Memorial Day in 1882. May 30 was adopted as the day by most states over time.


Through the early 20th Century, the holiday expanded to honor the dead veterans of all wars. Memorial Day became the official name of the holiday after WW2 and an official federal holiday in 1967. The Uniform Monday Holiday Act moved four holidays to Mondays, Memorial Day, Veterans Day, Columbus Day and George Washington′s Birthday, later renamed Presidents Day. Not everybody was happy about this. Some veterans groups complained that the effect from this law turned the solemn holiday into a 3-day vacation. That the public just views these holidays as an excuse to party.


Perhaps one of the most famous excuses is the Indianapolis 500 auto race. Started in 1911, it always ran on May 30, which had been Memorial Day for many years. Even today, the Brickyard race is tied to the Sunday prior to Memorial Day, unless its raining hard. Of course, we have sales! Lots of sales! Hollywood uses the holiday as a marker for the start of their summer film season, launching their block-buster movies on Memorial Day weekend. What can you say? American culture has commercialized and stupefied practically everything which we once held dear to our hearts and souls.


Especially these days when our biggest enemy, our most dangerous threat is terrorism. The battlefields have shifted from some remote beach or hilltop to our streets and homes. To fight the radicals of Islamic extremism, everyone of us needs to be aware and be ready to take action. Flight 93 from the 9/11 attack in 2001 is a good example of this. Those passengers made the choice and gave their lives to save others in the fight against evil. America has always been something of a Warrior Nation, ever since the days of the Minutemen. Ordinary people, armed with muskets or pitchforks, ready to fight the Redcoats in the name of Liberty. Today, the Second Amendment continues that tradition. Citizens armed, and trained to use their weapons, may be the difference between a terrorist killing dozens, or harming none.


So on Memorial Day 2017, let us take the time to pay homage to those who have given their life to keep us free. Honor our dead warriors, and understand that tomorrow, you, too, may have to risk your life to save others. Technically speaking, all males between 18 through 45 should be prepared to serve in the Militia. In this age of terrorism, we are all on the front line, defending civilization and our communities. Keep that in mind while you stuff yourself with BBQ.


For more REAL NEWS and views, follow Andrew Zarowny on Facebook, and on Twitter @mrcapitalist.


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