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Today we celebrate Memorial Day, observed to commemorate the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military. Originally known as Decoration Day, the holiday originated in the years following the Civil War, which ended in 1865, and claimed more lives than any conflict in U.S. history, requiring the establishment of the country’s first national cemeteries.

Each year on Memorial Day, a national moment of remembrance takes place at 3:00 pm local time. Cities and towns across the United States host Memorial Day parades each year, often incorporating military personnel and members of veterans’ organizations. Americans also observe Memorial Day by visiting cemeteries and memorials. Some people wear a red poppy in remembrance of those fallen in war.

This Meditation Monday, take a moment to reflect on the sacrifices made to ensure our freedom.

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