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Take time to observe Memorial Day

My Opinion
Ross Schulz, Staff Writer

Many veterans and others throughout the country believe Memorial Day should be observed on May 30 each year, regardless of the day of the week it falls on, as it was traditionally set. They think that most people have forgotten the true meaning of the day since it moved to the last Monday of the month in 1968, making a three-day weekend.
‘Changing the date merely to create three-day weekends has undermined the very meaning of the day,’ an VFW Memorial Day address, on, said. ‘No doubt, this has contributed greatly to the general public’s nonchalant observance of Memorial Day.’
Time is spent on the long weekend at barbecues, on the river or lake, opening pools and at sporting events. But that’s how it should be spent, because there’s no better way to honor those who have fallen in wars than to live free and do all the things we’re lucky enough to enjoy because of those sacrifices. Although that doesn’t mean we can’t stop and take time to observe Memorial Day on Monday, which this year happens to fall on the traditional date, May 30.
Memorial Day, originally known as Decoration Day, was officially proclaimed on May 5, 1868, by Gen. John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, and was first observed later that month. The day began as just honoring those who died in the Civil War and was not observed in the south. However, after World War I, the entire nation recognized those who have died serving our country in any war.
In our nation’s capital, Memorial Day is celebrated at Arlington National Cemetery with a ceremony in which a small American flag is placed on each grave. The president or vice president also usually speaks at the ceremony.
Anyone attending, watching or listening to the Indianapolis 500 will get quite a service during the pre-race ceremonies.
Locally, a parade and service will take place Monday in Elizabeth beginning at 11 a.m. Also, VFW Post 6160 will have a memorial service at the graveside of Harry Mix at Memorial Garden Cemetery in Leavenworth on Sunday at 1 p.m. and VFW Old Capitol Post 2950 will have a service Saturday at 10 a.m. at Cedar Hill Cemetery in Corydon.
Other ways to observe the day include visiting cemeteries and placing flags or flowers on the graves of our fallen heroes, visiting memorials, flying the American flag at half-staff until noon on Memorial Day, flying the POW/MIA flag, participating in a National Moment of Remembrance at 3 p.m. and by renewing a pledge to aid the widows, widowers and orphans of our fallen dead and to aid disabled veterans.