Memorial Day remembers men and women who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces. The holiday, which is celebrated every year on the final Monday of May, was formerly known as Decoration Day and originated after the American Civil War to commemorate the Union and Confederate soldiers who died in the Civil War. By the 20th century, Memorial Day had been extended to honor all Americans who have died while in the military service.
Nowhere, however, have I found anything as moving as the American cemetery in Normandy where thousands of brave young men lay beneath stark white crosses, many of which have no name. Standing in the midst of them, I wept as it hit me just how terrible war is and how sad it is that so much of our world is still experiencing its traumas.
Looking later at this sculpture erected by the French government in honor of America’s sacrifice, I had hope that someday we could all find a way to live in peace and felt a special appreciation for all those men and women who continue to serve and protect the U.S. To them, I say thank you.
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