On Monday, we will celebrate Memorial Day. The holiday was first widely observed in May 1868 as a commemoration of the sacrifices of the Civil War. Following a proclamation Gen. John A Logan, participants decorated the graves of more than 20,000 Union and Confederate soldiers.

It soon came to be known as Decoration Day, and since World War I, the day has become a celebration of honor for all of America’s veterans and active servicemembers. In 1971, Memorial Day was declared a national holiday for the last Monday of May.

President Ronald Reagan is credited with reviving the practice of honoring Memorial Day and its meaning. One of Reagan’s most memorable speeches, in fact, was given on Memorial Day 1986 at a ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery. We at the Times-Review share his sentiments, and we thank all our service members, veterans and their families for stepping up to serve as America’s heroes.

“Today is the day we put aside to remember fallen heroes and to pray that no heroes will ever have to die for us again. It’s a day of thanks for the valor of others, a day to remember the splendor of America and those of her children who rest in this cemetery and others. It’s a day to be with the family and remember,” Reagan said.

There are several opportunities to celebrate and remember the fallen this Memorial Day weekend.

VFW Post 2399 in Mineral Wells will have several flags available to pick up and place on the graves of fallen soldiers at various cemeteries. To volunteer, contact the post at 940-654-5154 or swing by from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at 1400 Veterans of Foreign Wars St., Mineral Wells.

The R.D. Nelson Memorial VFW Post 4746 in Weatherford will begin Memorial Day with a free breakfast from 7-10 a.m. A ceremony will follow at Poolville Cemetery to place flags on veterans’ gravestones.

Parker County American Legion Post 163 will hold a ceremony at 10 a.m. Monday at Memory Garden Cemetery off Highway 180 between Weatherford and Mineral Wells. Following the ceremony, members of the ladies’ auxiliary will be handing out grave markers for participants to place on veteran military headstones.

We encourage you to take time to attend at least one of these events and remember the sacrifices made to give you the life you live today.

Weatherford Democrat

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