by Jeff Salter
Originally called Decoration Day, this is a day of remembrance for all those who have died in our nation’s service. Officially proclaimed in 1868, it was first observed on May 30 that year by placing flowers on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery. Since 1968, Memorial Day’s observance moves each year to the last Monday in May.
That’s the official explanation. But Memorial Day has also become a day to honor living veterans and first responders, as well as remembering deceased relatives or friends. Since all those are noble pursuits, I can’t fault anyone for stretching the original intent of this day.
Last year, at about this time, I wrote about my relatives who served in uniform and also related some of the horrific mortality statistics of recent wars.
Please take another look at last year’s column: