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Memorial Day, which is observed on the last Monday of May, is an American holiday that honors the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. Armed Forces. This year, Memorial Day will occur on Monday, May 31.

Originally known as Decoration Day, the origin of Memorial Day dates back to the Civil War. However, during World War I, the United States found itself embroiled in another major conflict. In light of all of this, the holiday evolved to honor and remember American military personnel who died in all wars. Memorial Day finally became an official federal holiday in 1971.

For some, Memorial Day is the official kick-off for the summer, while for others it is a solemn remembrance of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in service to our country. However, to war veterans and to the families of fallen soldiers, Memorial Day carries a significance that words cannot express. For those in the military community, this holiday can be a very emotional and moving time marked by acute sensitivity. They remember and honor the heroes who are gone but yet recall and commemorate those they knew personally; those who were cared for deeply and are still missed. Many will think back to personal experiences in which they were injured, or memories of situations where their lives were in danger. Their stories serve to inspire future generations of Americans to grasp the ideals of duty, honor, integrity, selfless service, and courage that are so central to the armed forces and touch upon the ideals of faith in the Messiah.