Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial start of summer in the United States. It’s a weekend of family events and often is associated with hot dogs, the opening of pools, and picnics. Many people may forget the real reason for the holiday. As we enjoy the long weekend, let’s remember the brave men and women who gave their life for our country.

What is Memorial Day? The history of Memorial Day goes back to the 19th century. People who lost their friends and relatives in the Civil War started to decorate the graves of their dead with flowers, wreaths, and flags. That is why the initial name of the holiday was Decoration Day.

After World War I, all Americans adopted this remembrance tradition of the Southern states and devoted it to all those who died in any military action. We are intentional about honoring men and women who gave their lives for our country up to now. So this particular holiday tends to raise the question…

What is the Difference between Memorial Day and Veterans Day?

If you are one of those asking “is Memorial Day not for veterans?” let me see if I can clarify the answer. These two holidays have different origins. The official observance of Memorial Day started in 1868 at Arlington National Cemetery where people decorated the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers with flowers. This tradition was extended to commemorate all military men and women who died in all American wars.

Veterans Day dates back to the early 20th century when Armistice Day was declared after World War I to honor the heroism of the American soldiers and their contribution to the world peace. After World War II, the name of the holiday was changed to “Veterans.” Ever since then Veterans Day is observed on November 11 to celebrate the veterans of all American wars.

I want to express my deepest gratitude to all of you who make up the Deer Flat Family, who have served our country with your military service. I also want to acknowledge those of our church family who have had loved ones and friends who gave their lives in sacrifice for the Nation they loved.

May this be an amazingly meaningful weekend for all. This Sunday there will be only 1 single service at 10:30 a.m. We’re going to be considering the theme Surpassing Hope. What is it that keeps us going when we can’t go on? Come and find out what the Bible has to say about this thing called “HOPE.”

All for Jesus,

Pastor D

Pastor Dave McGarrah