To many Americans, Memorial Day has lost its meaning

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The official history of Memorial Day began in 1868, when May 30 was established as Decoration Day.

Dunbar pointed out notable veterans buried in Rose Hill, including the American Legion Post 18′s namesake Burton Woolery, who was the first casualty from Monroe County during World War I. The caretakers at national cemeteries don't take long weekends, because by law those cemeteries can't close for more than 48 hours at a time.

"We should reflect on all of our veterans, alive and passed", said Marquis.

Unfortunately, much of the nation has lost touch with this original goal of the day, especially for those who have no close ties to the military. "The 30th of May, 1868, is designated for the goal of strewing with flowers, or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in nearly every city, village and hamlet churchyard in the land", he proclaimed. It was chosen because it wasn't the anniversary of any particular Civil War battle.

Originally known as "Decoration Day", it was a time to honor the fallen Civil War Soldiers by decorating their graves with flowers.

Red poppies have become synonymous with Memorial Day. Let's be thankful for living in the greatest country on Earth and for our freedoms that so many sacrificed their lives for. It was inspired by the way people in the Southern states honored their dead.

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"[I'm] honestly very emotional on Memorial and Veteran's Day". The AP says veterans groups aren't thrilled with Memorial Day always being a three-day weekend, triggering more leisure and recreation.

Moving of the date did cause some controversy. And not knowing anyone who died in action doesn't mean any of us shouldn't mourn and honor those who gave their lives.

It was hot Monday, but that didn't keep area veterans and their families from gathering for a Memorial Day ceremony at the Georgia War Veterans Nursing Home. Inouye died in 2012.

One of the most recognized parts of Memorial Day, the wearing of red poppy flowers, originated early last century. The town first celebrated on May 5, 1866.

Modesitt gave a nod to the morning's proceedings, which included music by the Parsons Community Band and a roll call to honor those who died in military service, and ended his speech with a challenge to those present.