Memorial Day much more than brats, beer

In light of the wars American soldiers continue to fight and die in today, today should mean as much now as it ever has to those of us lucky enough to call ourselves citizens of the United States of America.

Memorial Day was created three years after the end of the Civil War, with an annual day of remembrance of local veterans who had died in that war. Dubbed Decoration Day, May 30 was a day for citizens to decorate the graves of those veterans who had given their lives for the cause.

The first large observation was held that year at Arlington National Cemetery.

The day continued to be observed in this way until after World War I, when it was expanded to honor all soldiers who had died in American wars. And in 1971, Memorial Day was declared a national holiday by Congress.

It was then that it was placed on the last Monday in May.

We hope everyone takes some time out of their day today to honor the fallen, and to remember what those brave men and women were fighting for – the life, liberty and pursuit of happiness that is every American’s right.

We thank those who have served, and those who continue to serve to keep these American ideals strong.