Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in military service to the United States. What are now Memorial Day observances were started to honor the dead from the Civil War by decorating their graves with flags and flowers. It was not until after World War I that the purpose of the day was changed from honoring those killed in just the Civil War to honoring Americans who died fighting any war.
The traditional observance of Memorial Day has diminished over the years. Many Americans today have forgotten the meaning of the day. At many cemeteries, the graves of the fallen are increasingly neglected. While there are towns that still hold Memorial Day parades, many have not held a parade in decades. It was only in 2004 that Washington D.C, for example, held a Memorial Day parade for the first time in over 60 years. Many people feel that when Congress made the day into a three-day weekend in 1971, it made it easier for Americans to forget the true meaning of the day.
To help remind Americans of the meaning of Memorial Day, the "National Moment of Remembrance" resolution was passed in Dec 2000 which asks that at 3 p.m. local time, all Americans "voluntarily and informally observe in their own way a moment of remembrance and respect, pausing from whatever they are doing for a moment of silence" to honor those who died defending the United States and its principals.
More than one out of four AIU students is on active duty with the U.S. Military or is a retired or veteran service member. To every one of these students all of us at American InterContinental University thank you for your service to America and your continued dedication to everything that makes this country great. Thanks too to your family members who do so much to support what you do.
Richard J. Kennedy
Director, AIU Military Relations
American InterContinental University
(Content derived in part from www.usmemorialday.org)