Memorial Day is a national holiday for remembering and honoring those who have died while serving in the U.S. Armed Forces. This should not be confused with Veteran’s Day, which is intended to honor all veterans.
The holiday is observed on the last Monday of May each year and is considered by most to be the unofficial start of the summer vacation season.
Many people visit cemeteries and memorials on Memorial Day to honor those who died in military service, and volunteers place American flags on graves in national cemeteries.
Some veterans groups feel that designating a date that creates a 3-day weekend undermines the very meaning of the day, contributing to the general public’s nonchalant observance of the holiday. In 2000, Congress passed the National Moment of Remembrance Act, asking people to stop and remember at 3:00 PM.
You may be familiar with the remembrance poppy that makes its appearance at this time of year. It is an artificial flower that has been used since 1921 to commemorate military personnel who have died in war. It was inspired by the World War I poem “In Flanders Fields” written in 1919 by John McCrae.
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
Today, the American Legion distributes these for citizens to wear on their clothing leading up to Memorial Day. Recipients are asked to make a donation to support the future of veterans, active-duty military personnel and their families with medical and financial needs.
Please join the Fountain Hills community at the Veteran’s Memorial located on the south side of Fountain Park for a moving ceremony to honor those who have made the greatest sacrifice. Come early to find parking for this FREE event.
Monday, May 27, 2019