Why do we need a special day to fly the colors?

Monday morning at 10:00 a.m., there will be a Memorial Day commemoration service held at Saint Augustine National Cemetery on Marine Street.

The traditional May 30th “Decoration Day”, which we now celebrate as “Memorial Day”, honors and remembers U.S. men and women who died while in the military service.

In 1968, the United States Congress passed the Uniform Holidays Bill, which moved Memorial Day to the last Monday in May in order to create a convenient three-day weekend.

Today, all graves in the National Cemetery are decorated with small United States flags which will be removed on Tuesday in accordance with cemetery policies. Flags are not permitted on these brave American’s graves at any other time.

I liked the term “Decoration Day” although many southerners did not — I suppose because the holiday was first enacted to honor Union soldiers of the American Civil War and was celebrated near the day of reunification after the Civil War.

Citizens should be encouraged to fly the American flag. Not just on Memorial Day and not just on the grave of a fallen soldier, but in front of their homes, their places of business, their schools and other public places. If the symbol of our nation is not revered at home, how are we to expect it to be honored abroad?

Photo credits: © 2010 Historic City News staff photographer

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