Dear Veterans and our GVDA Supporters –
This upcoming weekend signifies more than just the end of the school year, the start of summer, or a long weekend spent with family or friends. With the circumstances of the last few months, it is easy for anyone to forget what day of the week it is, let alone how special and important the upcoming weekend is.
In 1966, President Lyndon Johnson officially declared Waterloo, NY as the official birthplace of Memorial Day. That original ceremony took place on 5 May 1866 and honored local Veterans who had fought for the Union in the Civil War. After World War I, our Nation announced that this day would honor those who have perished in all the wars in which the United States had participated. And in 1971, Congress declared that Memorial Day would be a federal holiday and would take place on the last Monday in May.
Memorial Day is a day each year that we pause to remember those who have given the ultimate sacrifice in defense of our Nation. It is a time to reflect on those we have lost and those that they left behind. Each loss is felt by their family, their friends, their Brothers and Sisters in uniform, and by a Nation that vows to never forget our fallen.
Even with the safety guidelines that are in place, I encourage everyone to spend time honoring our fallen servicemembers on Monday. A trip to visit a gravesite or memorial. Having a drink with friends sharing stories of a lost loved one. Or even a moment of silence to remember the fallen and their families they left behind.
Veterans Day is a special day where those of us who have proudly served get to reflect upon our military memories and those we served with. Memorial Day is a time to pay honors to those we have lost. Freedom is not free and we must never forget the fallen men and women who have preserved it.
Kevin L Miller
Georgia Veterans Day Association, Inc.