Memorial Day unofficially marks the start of the summer season. Many Americans will take to the road this holiday weekend to visit family and friends. There will be backyard cookouts and time spent by the pool and at the lakes. I personally hope that through all the celebrating you will take a moment to think about the men and women who have and continue to serve our country, so we can enjoy the freedom we have today to do the things we love.Not to be confused with Veteran's Day, Memorial Day is the time to honor those who have died defending our country in the U.S. military. Originally named Decoration Day, it all started in the years following the civil war and was finally officially made into a federal holiday in 1971. Memorial Day is always observed on the last Monday during the month of May. Many towns throw parades, memorial services and other celebrations to recognize our fallen heroes. Some of the biggest parades involving military personnel take place in Washington D.C. and Chicago on this day.  Did you know that on Memorial Day a national moment of remembrance takes place at 3 p.m.?

The evolution of Memorial Day is very interesting. As I mentioned, it was originally called Decoration Day and was set aside to honor those lost during the Civil War. But during World War I the United States found itself involved in another major war and finally decided on designating a holiday that would commemorate all Americans who died while fighting for their country in all wars.

So this Memorial Day, I ask you to say a little prayer for those we've lost, fly your American flag, if you have one, and remember the oath that our American troops took when they agreed to defend the United States of America.

I do solemnly Swear (or Affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic, That I will bear truth faith and allegiance to the same, and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the uniform code of Military Justice so help me God.

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