Memorial Day cracks opens the door to the long, sweet stretch of summer. It’s also one of the most solemn days on the calendar.
This stark contrast that we navigate every year — the gravity of this holiday and the great pleasure of late spring — did not occur by chance.
The late-May date for honoring our war dead was chosen in part because fresh flowers would be abundant.
Memorial Day is not timed to a particular victory, battle or other military anniversary. Created after the Civil War and long called Decoration Day, the observance stems from the desire to place bright blossoms, a small flag, and a moment’s attention on the graves of people who died fighting for our country.
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