Yesterday afternoon at 3:30 p.m., Americans from coast to coast paused to reflect on the sacrifices of those who lost their lives in service to our nation.
Memorial Day is one of our nation's most revered holidays; a day specially reserved to acknowledge the brave men and women who lost their lives in service to our great nation.
Since its inception as "Decoration Day" following the Civil War, Americans have continued to show pride in their country each Memorial Day, and this year was no exception.
AMVETS across the country gathered to pay tribute to their fallen comrades at hundreds of events large and small, alongside community and national leaders. Countless other AMVETS at more than 1,400 posts nationwide paid tribute in silence to the brave men and women who laid their lives down to preserve our way of life.
President Obama dedicated his weekly address to the men and women continuing to serve in our military, hosted Gold Star families and veteran leaders, such as AMVETS Ladies Auxiliary, for a special brunch at the White House, and solemnly laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery.
At Major League Baseball games around the country, players on all 30 teams donned red, white and blue caps in honor of the national day of remembrance. Teams playing in the afternoon also paused at 3:30 p.m. to observe the National Moment of Remembrance.
In my home town of Philadelphia, the community gathered around the village of Roxborough's veterans' memorial in Gorgas Park to pay tribute to our fallen heroes, immediately followed by the annual Memorial Day parade, leading to the nearby Wissahickon War Memorial.
When the day's events had drawn to a close, one image stuck out to me: I saw a family crossing the street with two small children in a stroller, and another skipping alongside, waving her American flag. It was inspiring to see this young family take the time out of their long weekend to pay tribute to our nation's fallen heroes, and to visibly instill a spirit of Patriotism in their children that is sure to last well beyond May 25.
(Photos, Top: Families visit the graves of their loved ones on Memorial Day at Arlington National Cemetery. DoD photo by Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Chad McNeeley. Bottom: President Obama laying a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery. DoD photo by Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Chad McNeeley.)