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Memorial Day 2024

Remember and Honor The Fallen
Kevin McCartney
American Flag at a Low Angle

Considered the unofficial start of summer in the United States, Memorial Day is celebrated on the last Monday of May. Every school year, we get a three-day weekend, and while this is exciting, we should still recognize the significance of why we get a day off. This year Memorial Day falls on May 27th, 2024.

Over 1 million men and women have lost their lives in war while serving for the United States Armed forces, according the the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Defense. The holiday was first observed in May of 1865, when African Americans in South Carolina marched through Charleston with the U.S. Army and Colored Troops to honor the fallen Union soldiers without proper burials.

Even though the first official observation took place in 1865, women had been decorating the graves of fallen soldiers for numerous years in the South, with towns hosting services for the fallen after the events of the Civil War. It was even originally referred to as ‘Decoration Day’ by General and former Senator John A. Logan in 1868, stating that it “designated to strew with flowers or otherwise decorating the gloves of comrades who died in defense of the country during the late rebellion.”

Following the origins of this holiday, majority of people still honor the soldiers we’ve lost by decorating their gravesites. These ornaments can range from American Flags to flowers like Poppies, which are tied to Memorial Day because of the red color of the petals, referring to the bloodshed and honor of the fallen members (as a reference to the poem “In Flander Fields.”

Other traditions correlated to Memorial Day like the annual Bellingham Parade are also great ways to commemorate this holiday. It is fun for the whole family while representing the sponsors who take part in the celebration. The flags are also always at half mast until noon, simultaneously honoring both the nation and the people who gave it their all in battle.

No matter how you spend your Memorial Day, taking the time to recognize and honor the soldiers we’ve lost is more than enough. Paying your respects can differ from person to person, but what matters is that you can acknowledge what this holiday is honoring.

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About the Contributor
Trinity Kerr
Trinity Kerr, Reporter
Trinity Kerr is a current Freshman at Bellingham High School, and one of the Reporters in the Newspaper Club. She was born in Mount Vernon, Washington, but she moved to Bellingham when she was a young baby and has lived there ever since. She loves reading, writing, and sleeping in for long periods of time. Trinity joined the Newspaper Club to further explore her love of writing, but also to get involved in her school and community as a Bayhawk at Bellingham High School.