by Marvin D. Patterson

A Memorial Day Challenge
Marvin Patterson
2 Timothy 2:1-8


Memorial Day is a wonderful time of the year for many reasons. It is the start of the summer time, and many people know that vacation time is not far off. For others it is a time to get with the family for a cookout and enjoy their fellowship. For others it is a three-day weekend, which is always nice to a weary worker. Many cities have Memorial Day parades to honor their veterans. But the greatest reason that we celebrate memorial day is that we remember, as the choir and singers have so beautifully portrayed in music this morning, our veteran's who have gone on to be with the Lord, and to honor those veterans who have sacrificed for our great country that are with us today!

Memorial Day started as decoration day, in honor of the veterans who had passed away in the civil war. It has since come to be called ''Memorial Day'' because we remember all the veterans from all of the wars that they have been involved with.

Memorial Day was officially proclaimed on May 5, 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, in his General Order No. 11, and was first observed on 30 May 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery. The first state to officially recognize the holiday was New York in 1873.

By 1890 it was recognized by all of the Northern states. The South refused to acknowledge the day, honoring their dead on separate days until after World War I, when the holiday changed from honoring just those who died fighting in the Civil War to honoring Americans who died fighting in any war. It is now celebrated in almost every State on the last Monday in May, passed by Congress with the National Holiday Act of 1971.

Many people visit cemeteries and memorials, particularly to honor those who have died in military service. Many volunteers place an American flag on each grave in nation ...

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