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We remember: A holiday for memories
Members of the Great Bend Kiwanis Club placed flags along McKinley Street and Broadway Ave. on Monday. - photo by Susan Thacker
A City of Great Bend employee prepares the Avenue of Flags, Monday morning in Veterans Memorial Park. - photo by Susan Thacker

Today, May 27, 2024, is Memorial Day, with ceremonies to mourn and honor deceased servicemen and servicewomen. That is the official purpose of our federal holiday.

According to the U.S. Code, The last Monday in May is Memorial Day:

“The President is requested to issue each year a proclamation –

(1) calling on the people of the United States to observe Memorial Day by praying, according to their individual religious faith, for permanent peace;

(2) designating a period of time on Memorial Day during which the people may unite in prayer for a permanent peace;

(3) calling on the people of the United States to unite in prayer at that time; and

(4) calling on the media to join in observing Memorial Day and the period of prayer."

As this day for visiting cemeteries and memorials approached, American flags were flown and placed on graves. Flowers also decorated graves. It is not a holiday where we wish one another a “Happy Memorial Day!” Rather, one suggestion is to say, “Have a meaningful Memorial Day.”

Each of us may remember loved ones who were dear, whether they were in the military or not. Memorial Day was originally known as Decoration Day, and originated in the years following the Civil War. But we suspect the custom goes much further back, as spring flowers were taken to grave sites to honor loved ones. They will always live in our memories.