Memorial Day emerged from the grim shadows of the American Civil War. Before the close of the war, women began decorating the graves of soldiers who had died in that war. The practice quickly spread, and a few years later May 30, 1868, was designated as Decoration Day — a day for placing flowers on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers throughout the United States.

In 1882, Decoration Day became known as Memorial Day, and soldiers who died in other wars were also honored. Over the years, it has become a day when all loved ones who have died — in war and otherwise — are remembered. In 1971, the United States Congress declared Memorial Day a national holiday to be observed annually on the last Monday in May.

On this Memorial Day, remember those who gave their lives for our country. But also pray for those who continue serving to keep America free, especially those who are in harm’s way.

Westside Bulletin for May 28, 2017