"Speak Out" is an expression of opinion from the Editorial Board of WBTV, and is presented by General Manager, Scott Dempsey.
Originally known as Decoration Day, Memorial Day originated in the years following our nation's Civil War and became officially recognized as a federal holiday in 1971. Unofficially, the last Monday in May signals the beginning of the summer season and many will gather to celebrate the occasion with friends and family.
Cities and towns across the United States will host Memorial Day parades that include military personnel and veterans' organizations. Many more will honor the fallen by visiting cemeteries and memorials.
However you choose to spend your day, we encourage you to at least spend some of it being thankful for the sacrifices so many soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines have made to preserve your freedom and our nation's values.
A perfect opportunity for that is the National Moment of Remembrance, established by Congress, which asks Americans, wherever they are at 3 p.m. local time on Memorial Day, to pause in an act of national unity for a duration of one minute.
National unity is something our country could use right now. Take the chance to share that moment in common with your fellow Americans – and hopefully that moment can lead to many more.