Monday is Memorial Day 2012. We should all take time from our busy schedule to remember. It is a federal holiday and many will be able to enjoy a 3-day weekend. Memorial Day always reminds me summer is at hand.
Memorial Day has a much deeper meaning than just another day off work. It is a time to remember the men and women who have died while serving our country. They left their homes and families so we would not have to. Many gave their lives and we should never forget.
Memorial Day was once Decoration Day and goes way back in history originating after the Civil War. Memorial Day is the last Monday of May each year. It was changed in 1968 from May 30 to the last Monday in May so people could enjoy a 3-day holiday.
Today it is celebrated with picnics, festivals, memorial ceremonies, family reunions, parades and other gatherings.
We still remember and honor the men and women who sacrificed their lives for us, but we also use the time to remember our loved ones who have died even if they did not serve in the military. Some take part of the day and visit their final resting places to place flowers or place a flag on their graves. It is a day to remember.
We had a mild winter in our area and our local schools will be out on time this year and not have to return after Memorial Day.
We do have many to remember and honor. I was looking at statistics and according to the report, numbers of U.S. casualties and wounded should make us stop and think.
World War I (1917-1918) had 116,516 deaths; and 204,002 wounded.
World War II (1941-1946) the numbers went up and we had 405,399 death sand another 671,846 wounded.
The Korean War (1950-1953) total number of deaths were 33,741 with 103,284 wounded.
The Vietnam Conflict (1963-1973) listed 58,209 deaths with 153,303 wounded.
The Persian Gulf War (1990-1991) a total of 382 deaths and 467 wounded.
The stats were not completely up to date but since 2003-2011 the report cited 4,486 deaths in Iraq and 1,968 in Afghanistan with thousands of wounded.
We may not be having casualties daily in Afghanistan, but we still have young men and women serving in harm's way and we need to remember them and their families. Most of us know someone or their family members who is serving in Afghanistan or other dangerous areas. We are hearing talks of the end of the war in Afghanistan nearing and we can hope to see those talks become a reality.
As we celebrate Memorial Day, let's remember those who have given their lives and give them the respect they deserve.