On Monday, U.S. military officials and branches observed Memorial Day, a holiday that honors the brave men and women service members who paid the ultimate sacrifice for the United States.
The U.S. Army tweeted a quote by former President John F. Kennedy, which stated, “As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words but to live by them.”
The branch also shared a video at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery.
The United States Marine Corps tweeted, “This #MemorialDay the #MarineCorps takes the opportunity to reflect on those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty in service to our great Nation. #MemorialDay#MarineCorps.”
“Let us remember the greatness of past generations and find inspiration from their courage, devotion, and selfless determination,” the Marines added in a separate tweet. “We will forever #honor our fallen heroes. Semper Fidelis. #MemorialDay2022 #SemperFi”
The U.S. Navy also posted a video and tweeted, “Honoring all who paid the ultimate sacrifice in service to our Nation. #MemorialDay2022.”
The United States Space Force tweeted, “On this #MemorialDay we honor those who have made the ultimate sacrifice. We express our deepest gratitude to the fallen and their families.”
The Navy Blue Angels posted a video showing a C-130 flying over the Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon. “On this Memorial Day, we honor and remember the men and women who have paid the ultimate sacrifice protecting our country. In this video, the Blue Angels C-130J Hercules, affectionately known as “Fat Albert,” flies over the United States Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon,” the post said.
The Department of Defense posted a photo featuring a American flags at a military cemetery, writing, “We commemorate those who gave their lives in service of this great nation. #HonorThem.”
Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin tweeted, “Our troops do not just defend this country; they defend the principles of our democracy and our Constitution. On #MemorialDay, we rededicate ourselves to the values and principles that our fallen forces gave their lives to defend.”
U.S. Central Command wrote on Twitter, “On this #MemorialDay2022 U.S. Central Command honors those who gave all in service to our nation. @US5thFleet @usarmycentral @USMARCENT @USAFCENT.”
The holiday originated in the 1860s as Americans began holding memorials and tributes to the soldiers lost in the Civil War. In 1868, Northern Civil War veterans leader Gen. John A. Logan called for the 30th of May that year to be a designated day to decorate the graves of soldiers who died in the war. From then on, the day was called Decoration Day, and it continued to be celebrated on May 30.
It wasn’t until Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act in 1968 that the day became officially known as Memorial Day, a federal holiday, and would be celebrated on the last Monday in May in order to establish a three-day weekend for federal workers. The change became effective in 1971.