Many of you have the day off today and will likely spend it with family and friends, perhaps cooking hamburgers and hot dogs and waving the American flag.
But, none of us should never forget the real reason for Memorial Day. A day to remember and honor those who died during military service for our country. Without their sacrifice, the freedoms that we have would not be possible.
After the Civil War ended in 1865, General John A. Logan, the commander-in-chief of the Union veteran's group, The Grand Army of the Republic, wanted a special day to honor those who had given their lives for this country.
According to History.com,
"In May 1868, General Logan, issued a decree that May 30 should become a nationwide day of commemoration for the more than 620,000 soldiers killed in the recently ended Civil War.
On 'Decoration Day', as Logan dubbed it, Americans should lay flowers and decorate the graves of the war dead “whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village and hamlet churchyard in the land.”
According to legend, Logan chose May 30 because it was a rare day that didn’t fall on the anniversary of a Civil War battle, though some historians believe the date was selected to ensure that flowers across the country would be in full bloom."
It was known as 'Decoration Day' for more than 100 years. It wasn't until 1971, that the last Monday in May would officially be recognized by the federal government as 'Memorial Day.'
So today, take a moment and honor those who have given their lives for our country.
There are several Memorial Day events scheduled throughout Southern California.
The L.A. Times has information on events around L.A. today.
If you've never seen the moving 'Changing of the Guard' ceremony that happens at Arlington National Cemetery, watch it below.