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Memorial Day: The Holiday’s Origins and Meaning

It's a time to remember those who have served as "heroes" over the years.

The last Monday in May is always Memorial Day. It’s a day set aside to remember the men and women who have died while serving in the United States military.

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The day holds special significance for military families. It’s a day filled with mixed emotions, they said Fox News.
Juliana Ponia, whose 30-year-old son, Ronny, is a United States Marine, told Fox News that though she is proud of what her son is doing for the country, she is always concerned about his safety.

“It has a significant emotional impact… They may lose their lives while [stationed] somewhere “She went on to say that these men and women leave a home and, in some cases, children behind. “You’re worried all the time.”

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Erika Colorado is in the same boat as her two sons, Louis and Victor, who served in Afghanistan. She told Fox News she is proud of her sons for having “served our beautiful country” and returning safely.

She also finds herself thinking about all of the “heroes” who have served through the years, particularly those who were unable to return home.

Marine Lance Cpl. Travis R. Desiato, who was killed in Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2004, was one of them.

His sister, Vanessa Desiato, stated in a 2014 blog post that on this melancholy day, “we are reminded of what war veterans have given to this country, whether it’s years of duty, the first year of marriage, or their lives.”

“We remember what it means to be a hero on Memorial Day,” she added. “The warriors we bid goodbye to with tear-streaked faces, and those we welcome home with happy tears, are profoundly rooted in heroism.”

She co-founded the day to honour the men and women “who did not receive the jubilant homecoming, or have since been laid to rest.”

SEND US YOUR MEMORIAL DAY PHOTOS AND WE’LL TELL YOUR STORY. PROUD AMERICAN: SEND US YOUR MEMORIAL DAY PHOTOS AND WE’LL TELL YOUR STORY.

Hearing the phrase “happy Memorial Day” can be jarring for some.

Mike Jason, a now-retired Army officer, wrote in a 2014 opinion post for the Washington Post that hearing the words made him stop in his tracks. It was extremely difficult for him to hear after losing three close friends and coworkers in a 12-month period, two of whom died within 72 hours of each other.

“No sensation can compare with the emotions of those who will pause to remember loved ones: the fathers, mothers, spouses, spouses, and children they will never see and hold again,” Jason wrote.

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