Thursday, May 23, 2013
The 1968 Uniform Monday Holiday Act officially changed Memorial Day from the traditional date of May 30 to the last Monday in May. Originally referred to as “Decoration Day,” the modern holiday creates a three-day weekend of family gatherings, parades, gigantic retail events, TV marathons and fireworks.
Veterans and their organizations will argue that the sole purpose of Memorial Day is to honor those who died serving their country in the U.S. Armed Forces. Indeed ceremonies take place at veteran's cemeteries throughout the nation to remember those who perished. Yet movements exist to return the holiday to May 30 and restore the holiday's deep meaning.
This Memorial Day you can honor a World War II veteran by placing his or her name on the WWII Registry, a place where they are honored and remembered. Honor Flight Myrtle Beach organizer Bill Krzyk would like to see the name of every WWII veteran appear there. “It's a place where their name belongs, where we honor their service. Whether they never made it home from WWII, have since passed away or are still with us, this is a must do this holiday weekend”, Krzyk said.
The WWII Registry is forever attached in memory to the WWII Memorial in Washington, D.C. which opened to the public in 2004. There are four distinct data bases which are described when you enter the registry online, as a link from the WWII Memorial web site. “Honestly it takes no more than 15-20 minutes to register and honor your loved one from WWII” said Krzyk. “Do it before you hit the mall or dash off to the BBQ. Do it because it's right, because they earned their place on the registry,” he urged.
To access the WWII Registry, go online to the WWII Memorial web site at www.wwiimemorial.com and click on the link to the registry. Follow the easy prompts regarding the service of the veteran being honored. The veterans name, hometown, branch of service and duties (overseas or stateside) can be registered. You can also list the names of those submitting the honor. There is no cost to register a WWII veteran. In Washington, D.C. there is also an official registry booth at the WWII Memorial on the National Mall.
“Please honor these men and women of WWII for posterity, for generations to come. Take 15 minutes this Memorial Day”, Krzyk urged.
The Changing of the Guard at Arlington National Cemetery.