They gave all for us

Louis Holland
May 30, 2017

Several years later, disabled veterans were tasked with making artificial flowers as a Memorial Day tradition. The true meaning of Memorial Day.

The holiday can be traced back to the Civil War, when people felt a need for closure for the men and boys who were killed in the conflict. On Decoration Day, she went to the cemetery carrying 40 wreaths for 40 graves.

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However, today is more than another break from school or work. It wasn't until 1868 when General John A. Logan, commander-in-chief of the Union veterans' group the Grand Army of the Republic, called for a nationwide day of remembrance.

"For me it means protection of our country and you know just standing up for what the American way is", said Anne LaCroix, who attended the parade.

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Memorial Day originally honored military personnel who died in the Civil War (1861-1865). They include a memorial service at 9:30 a.m.at Outlook Cemetery in Outlook; a memorial service at 11 a.m.at Lower Valley Memorial Gardens in Sunnyside; and a ceremony at 1 p.m.in Sarg Hubbard Park at the Yakima Greenway.

Legion members say they often get a big turnout for events like this, but when it comes to every day membership, the numbers have been dropping.

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It took another five years, however, for Memorial Day to be declared a national holiday by an act of Congress, taking place on the last Monday of every May. This day was created to specifically honor those who died defending our freedom, our unity and our democracy. "But this is the one day that we remember service members who died and gave their lives for our country". Fortunately, most do. Therefore, it is not surprising that by the early 20th century many states and localities had made such observances official. Everyone that has ever served has done so knowing they may have to make the ultimate sacrifice. Wait, what? We don't talk much about this day, probably because it's not a legal holiday, it's on a weekend (the third Saturday in May), there are no sales, and it happens right before the Memorial Day - which steals its thunder. But as we approach Memorial Day, it's important to remember that over a million Americans have died serving our country to protect the freedoms we cherish today.

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