Happy Memorial Day from Blog for Iowa

Photo credit: Paul Deaton

This is one of my favorite flag photos taken by BFIA’s own Paul Deaton. Please have a meaningful and respectful holiday.

Below is a short statement about the history of Memorial Day. But to me, Memorial Day is also about community. I remember growing up in a small Iowa town where there would be, if not a parade, a gathering on the town square with a ceremony.  Taps was played by a member of the high school band. The American legion members would line up and fire a solemn salute. Family members long moved away would come home and visit grave sites and lay flowers. Then there would be family picnics. It was about gathering together as families, friends and as Americans, and remembering the home town Americans who had died in service to their country.

Why do we celebrate Memorial Day?

No, Memorial Day isn’t about a long weekend road trip, backyard barbecue or sales. The real meaning of the national holiday is much more somber.

Originally called Decoration Day, Monday’s holiday honors all soldiers who died during service to the nation.

Memorial Day was declared a national holiday through an act of Congress in 1971, and its roots date back to the Civil War era, according to the U.S. Department of Veterans’ Affairs.

Unlike Veterans Day, Memorial Day honors all military members who have died while serving in U.S. forces.

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