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Memorial Day is a day of tribute for the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. Armed Forces. It is a time to honor the sacrifices made by those who gave their lives to protect the country, and to reflect on the freedoms and liberties that we enjoy as Americans because of their sacrifices.

Memorial Day originated as Decoration Day after the Civil War in the late 1860s. It was a time when families and communities would decorate the graves of fallen soldiers with flowers and other decorations. In 1971, Memorial Day became an official federal holiday, and it was extended to honor all American military personnel who had died while serving their country in any war.

There are many ways to honor the fallen on Memorial Day. Some people attend parades or other ceremonies, while others visit cemeteries to pay their respects to fallen soldiers. Many communities also hold flag-raising ceremonies or other patriotic events to mark the occasion.  One of the most notable events around the St. Louis area is at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery, where thousands of graves are decorated with small United States flags placed by St. Louis area Boy Scouts the day before Memorial Day and are removed immediately after the holiday. 

For those who cannot attend a formal event, there are still many ways to honor the fallen. Taking a moment of silence at home or work or flying the American flag at half-staff are simple but meaningful ways to show respect and appreciation for the sacrifices made by those who died while serving our country.

Memorial Day is also a day to celebrate the freedoms and liberties that we enjoy as Americans, and is a day of remembrance and reflection. It is a somber but important occasion that reminds us of the cost of freedom, and of the debt of gratitude we owe to those who have served our country and to ones who lost loved ones in the fight. It is a time to remember the sacrifices made by those who fought for our country, and to honor their memory by continuing to defend the ideals of freedom, democracy, and justice that they fought for.

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