The last Monday in May is Memorial Day and like Veterans' Day, SMA participates in a full demonstration of patriotism, respect, and honor for those men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice to guard and protect the freedoms that we Americans hold so dear. SMA's bugler plays TAPS standing next to the a single table and chair, set in honor of the fallen soldier. The table is set with a single rose, plate, and glass. Memorial Day is reflective and quiet; a time to consider what we have today because of those who have come before, paying the ultimate price with their lives.
Here is a little background about the holiday:
"Memorial Day is the older of the two holidays, having its roots in the Civil War. First known as Decoration Day, it was instituted by former Union Army Maj. Gen. John A. Logan, to honor those who died in the armed forces. Logan, later a U.S. senator from Illinois, became the first commander-in-chief of the organization of Union veterans called the Grand Army of the Republic.
With General Orders No. 11, Logan designated May 30, 1868, "for the purpose of strewing with flowers or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country" and conduct special services as circumstances permitted. "Let no vandalism of avarice or neglect, no ravages of time, testify to the present or to the coming generations that we have forgotten, as a people, the cost of free and undivided republic," he declared. He also asked that the nation renew its pledge to assist the soldier's and sailor's widows and orphans.
The general said he inaugurated the observance "with the hope it will be kept up from year to year, while a survivor of the war remains to honor the memory of his departed comrades." The observance has continued, although now Memorial Day is observed as the last Monday of May."
Source-Courtesy of the U.S. Army Military District of Washington