Attorney General Alan Wilson: The Meaning of Memorial Day

This Memorial Day, it is important for every one of us to honor, respect and cherish the meaning of the holiday while we also enjoy the unofficial start of summer.

Memorial Day traces its origins to the earlier Decoration Day, when flowers were placed to decorate Civil War soldiers’ graves. Congress designated it a national holiday in 1971. In 1982, President Ronald Reagan spoke on Memorial Day at Arlington National Cemetery, where my biological father is buried, and stated that, “In America's cities and towns today, flags will be placed on graves in cemeteries; public officials will speak of the sacrifice and the valor of those whose memory we honor.”

 

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