Memorial Day is not about the first day of summer, barbeques, picnics and the beach. It’s about the sacrifice.
Here's a quick primer on Memorial Day and why it's important to remember those who served and lost their lives. More than one million made that ultimate sacrifice so that our freedom is protected. Today is a day to honor those who have fallen.
The day of Remembrance as it was initially called was to recognize the those who died in the Civil War. The inception of the holiday dates to May 5th, 1886 at Waterloo, New York
The Day of Rememberence became Decoration Day in 1868 by General John A. Logan.
Logan oversaw an organization called Northern Civil War veterans. It was Logan who formalized the day by calling for a nationwide day of remembrance in late May.
Logan proclaimed: “The 30th of May 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers, or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village and hamlet churchyard in the land,”
The first official Decoration Day, was presided by General James Garfield at Arlington National Cemetery where 5,000 participants decorated the graves of the 20,000 Union and Confederate soldiers buried there. Garfield went on to become the 20th president of the United States. He was assassinated in September of his inaugural year.
Even though Garfield sought to honor Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington northern and southern states honored the fallen on separate dates until World War I. World War I galvanized the holiday to not only remember Union and Confederate soldiers but all U.S. soldiers of all wars.
In 1968, Memorial Day was enacted by Congress as the last Monday in May to create a three-day weekend for federal employees in 1971 Memorial Day became a federal holiday.
More on our veterans:
Now a US congressman from Arizona former Marine, Gallego also pushes for the success of fellow veterans. Ruben was responsible for changing Arizona law to ensure honorably discharged veterans receive in-state tuition upon their return from the military.
What is the one thing Gallego wants the state of Arizona to know?
I’m really trying my best, he says. I think a lot of times politicians fall short of expectations, but I’m always trying 100 percent.
The medal of honor award ceremony presided over by President Obama recognized 24, most of which were Hispanic.
In March 2014 Of the 24 awarded the medal of honor the three living recipients were surprised they were finally recognized.
Hispanic veterans have served in every conflict since the Revolutionary War. Latino contributions increasingly enjoy mainstream recognition from the media.
Business loans and resources offer new opportunities to returning veterans.
Hispanic Veterans include Medal of Honor recipients.
Hispanic vets often transition to entrepreneurial careers.
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Hispanics in Military Service
The first U.S. soldier killed in action in Iraq was a Latino. Jose Gutierrez, who arrived in this country as an undocumented child from Guatemala, hid in a train in order to cross the Mexican border into the U.S. He gave his life for his adopted country at the age of 22.
Hispanics make up a small but growing segment of the Armed Forces. In the Iraq War, many Latinos served their country with distinction. Five of the 12 soldiers who were awarded the Navy Cross were Hispanic. Hispanic Lieutenant General Ricardo Sanchez served as the chief of forces in Iraq for 18 months.