In issuing the proclamation, Roosevelt said, "Those who have long enjoyed such privileges as we enjoy forget in time that men have died to win them". James E. Wright explains the terms "monument" and "memorial" are sometimes used interchangeably to describe the many locations across the United States which honor the fallen. But they, too, cringe when they hear: "Happy Memorial Day". At noon, it is then raised to full-staff for the remainder of the day. We remember the men and women who left their families behind, who placed country over self, who truly are American heroes. Raising the flag at noon signifies the nation lives, that the country is resolved not to let their sacrifice be in vain but to rise up in their honor and continue to fight for liberty and justice for all.
Local Boy Scouts and veterans started the day with a flag raising ceremony followed by a gun salute.
Various cemeteries still designate a day each spring as a decoration day, a day to pay tribute to the fallen there by sprucing up their surroundings. Just outside Fort Stevens near Washington, D.C. there was a small cemetery where 40 soldiers were buried, one of whom belonged to a widow from Northern Vermont.
According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, "Three years after the Civil War ended, on May 5, 1868, the head of an organization of Union veterans - the Grand Army of the Republic - established Decoration Day as a time for the nation to decorate the graves of the war dead with flowers. Maj".
In Cincinnati, Hamilton and Dayton Railroads transported passengers to the Spring Grove Cemetery. Their graves were decorated with flowers as people prayed. The Union lost nearly 365,000 troops and the Confederacy about 260,000. Memorial Day is also the flawless time to teach history to our children so that future generations never forget. Memorial Day, the day set aside to reflect on the death of our loved ones and honor those who have sacrificed their lives in the service to their country, should always be a day of solemn reverence. This year, I hope people take the time to recognize the true meaning of Memorial Day and not merely relegate it to a day of simple rest and relaxation. "No doubt, this has contributed a lot to the general public's nonchalant observance of Memorial Day".