Nowadays, many Americans have forgotten the meaning and traditions of Memorial Day. At cemeteries across the country, the graves of the fallen are sadly ignored, and worse, neglected.
As a 22-year Army Veteran who served in Operations Desert Storm and Iraqi Freedom, and as a Civilian Advisor to the Afghan Army in Operation Enduring Freedom, I understand both the gravity of giving the order, and the challenge of carrying it out.
From 1971 onwards, the Memorial Day holiday was officially observed on the last Monday in May and became the unofficial start of the summer, with barbecues, blockbuster movie openings and mattress sales.
While there are towns and cities still planning Memorial Day parades, many have not held a parade in decades. Some think the day is for honoring anyone who has died, not just those fallen in service to our country.
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