Monday, June 3, 2013

Celebrating Memorial Day

Memorial Day is one of my favorite holidays throughout the year, and it isn't just because of the multitude of cookouts and BBQs happening around me. Memorial Day is a time where we honor the veterans who have fought for the United States and those who have died in military service. The holiday actually began as a tradition after the American Civil War and it was called Decoration Day. Both Union and Confederate organizations began commemorating those who had died in the war. It was a time of placing flowers on graves, hearing speeches, and parades. Memorial Day was first celebrated in 1868 but it did not become an official holiday until after World War II.

Since many people get Memorial Day off of work and a three-day weekend, it is a time for weekend getaways, camping trips, and cookouts. However, it is always good to remind ourselves why we celebrate certain holidays throughout the year. To observe Memorial Day this year, I headed to the Idaho State Veteran's Cemetery. Ceremonies are held there on Memorial Day every year, and they are always attended by several hundreds of people. Because of the crowds this year, I missed the first part of the ceremony but enjoyed it nonetheless.

The ceremony was made up of several speeches in honor of our troops. It recognized the sacrifices made by our military and military families and recognized the veterans in attendance as well. Here are some pictures and videos from the ceremony:

One of the speeches honor the veterans and the fallen

The Flag flying at half mast over the Treasure Valley
The graves of Idaho veterans decorated for Memorial Day

The playing of taps
Twenty-one gun salute

P-51 Flyover


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