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Honoring Memorial Day, May 27

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Memorial Day, originally known as Decoration Day, is a federal holiday in the United States. It holds a profound significance as a day of honor and mourning for the U.S. military personnel who made the ultimate sacrifice while serving in the United States Armed Forces. From 1868 to 1970, it was observed on May 30. Since 1971, it is observed on the last Monday of May, marking a solemn and respectful tradition.

Many people visit cemeteries and memorials on Memorial Day to honor and mourn those who died while serving in the U.S. military. Many volunteers place American flags on the graves of military personnel in national cemeteries. Memorial Day is also considered the unofficial beginning of summer.

The first national observance of Memorial Day occurred on May 30, 1868. Then known as Decoration Day, the holiday was proclaimed by Commander in Chief John A. Logan of the Grand Army of the Republic to honor the Union soldiers who had died in the Civil War. This national observance was preceded by many local ones between the end of the Civil War and Logan’s declaration. Many cities and people have claimed to be the first to observe it. However, the National Cemetery Administration, a Department of Veterans Affairs division, credits Mary Ann Williams with originating the “idea of strewing the graves of Civil War soldiers—Union and Confederate” with flowers.

May is not just about Memorial Day, it’s also Military Appreciation Month. Nevada plays a unique role in protecting our national security through our four military installations, including Nellis and Creech Air Force Bases in Southern Nevada. It’s a time to pause and reflect on the brave service members who selflessly protect and defend the freedoms we enjoy and cherish. Let’s not forget the personal sacrifices they and their families make daily to keep our country safe.

Memorial Day, May 27, is a poignant reminder of the courage and dedication that our service members embody.

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