Why Continue Celebrating Memorial Day


Some time ago, while talking to one of my liberal friends, I was asked, “Why should we celebrate Memorial Day?”

The primary reason why we celebrate Memorial Day is to commemorate the lives of U.S. military personnel who sacrificed their lives and who died in honor of their country. Memorial Day is one of the most important holidays in the U.S.A. observed annually on the last Monday of May.

The tradition goes back to a day known as Decoration Day. With  the end of the American Civil War  this  remembrance  was in honor of both the Union and Confederate soldiers who died in the Civil War. It was an effort to unite a then divided county.


Throughout history, all societies honor those who served to protect them.  From our founding

Revolution to today’s Global War on Terrorism, nearly one million men and women in the United States of America Armed Forces have sacrificed their lives while defending America in time of war.

It’s unfortunate that our schools have abandoned the task of teaching our children the truth of history. I am no longer surprised that so many of our youth are growing up (and have grown up) without a deep appreciation for the sacrifice so many have given for our country and for the freedom of others around the world.


The question presented to me by my liberal friend is a reminder that among the many things we do, it is critical that we teach our youth how much we owe those who have served and those who have died serving our county.


To those who seem to forget that people have given their lives in order for them to have the  freedom and the right to disagree with the concept of Memorial Day, I say, “Memorial Day is to honor those who died  fighting for our freedom and that of others.”   My father, brother, seven uncles and myself, volunteered along with millions of other Americans, to be in the United States of America’s  military. Many of us are combat veterans who marched into the unknown. That was our commitment, and our duty.


Most of us came home to our family and friends, and many did not return. God Bless the souls of the brave men and women who did not return home.   We continue to celebrate Memorial Day to honor those who continue to give their all in order to keep our country free and safe.

Remembering our fallen once a year is not enough. The widows, widowers, fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters and children remember EVERYDAY.

Giving honor on Memorial Day is the least we can do.

May God Bless them all.


Mark Overstreet is a Vietnam Veteran, US Navy Reserve and resident of El Sereno.

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