Many Americans will spend today, Memorial Day, remembering our fallen soldiers. It could be all the heroes we read about in history books. But all too often it hits closer to home. We are all connected to the heroes, fallen soldiers and people who serve. From novels like The Red Badge of Courage to modern newspaper headlines, we have seen what a dangerous place our planet can be. We are lucky we have people who put everything on the line for us. Regular folks who may have shopped in the same stores and restaurants as us growing up. Or attended our schools and churches, or played baseball with us. Ordinary people who do extraordinary things. Sometimes they get streets or stretches of highways named after them. This doesn’t lessen our pain when we hear “Taps” and 21-gun salutes at funerals. The new streets honor the fallen heroes so we never forget how important they are to the chapters in our nation’s history.
Originally called Decoration Day, Memorial Day started shortly after the Civil War. More lives were lost during the Civil War than any other war in U.S. history. But it didn’t become an official federal holiday until 1971, 3 years after Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act. This law made Memorial Day the last Monday in May, and gave federal workers a 3-day weekend. Typically, gravesite visits, memorials, family gatherings and parades help usher in the summer season. Today, and every day, Rascal House thanks you for making this world a better place. We will never forget the sacrifices you made. Nor will we forget there are still heroes out there keeping us safe.