Talon News - Good Local News

By Lisa Bailey
TALON 

Memorial Day Meaning

 


Locally, Memorial Day (weekend) marks the beginning of student’s summer vacation and is often celebrated at events such as Farmington’s Riverfest, or with camping trips, and boating. However, the history and intent of the federal holiday is rich and meaningful.

There are several claims about the origin of Memorial Day. But, the common factor is that it’s development surrounds the Civil War era, and the approximately 600,000 casualties fo that conflict. To put that figure into context, it is approximately five times our San Juan County population (2015 Census). The practice of decorating soldier’s graves was taking place, and “Decoration Day” became an official event in 1868 (Wickipedia).

Decoration Day has evolved over the past 150 years. Now, “Memorial Day” is a federal holiday and celebrated on the fourth Monday in May, rather than its original May 30th date. Memorial Day is a time to remember and honor those who died while serving our country during military service. However, many choose to use it as a time to visit cemeteries and decorate the resting places of special loved ones, whether or not they ever served in the military.

There is nothing wrong with celebrating! As Americans we have many things to celebrate! By all means, enjoy this weekend, this season. But, may we at the Talon challenge you to take a moment to reflect on the service of those in the military and their lives, living or dead. To honor them, their families and their memories- however that looks to you. With a prayer, a phone call, a note, a grave decoration or salute.

 

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