Make Memorial Day a Day of Remembrance

More than backyard barbecues, take a moment to reflect this Memorial Day Monday.

The month of May brings sunny weather, celebrations of moms, donning of white pants and the start of camping season.  We also use this time to remember our soldiers on Memorial Day.  Though we should never forget all the battles fought and lives lost for our country, consider taking some time aside on this Memorial Day to reflect, remember and learn more about our history.

As thought to have begun at Arlington National Cemetery in the late 1800's, it's continued tradition of remembrance is an important part of our heritage.  A National Moment of Remembrance will take place at 3 p.m. on Monday afternoon as a result of President Clinton's interest in heightening the awareness of this day. For more facts and history on Memorial Day, check out .

Washington State offers some great memorials and monuments to check out for the holiday, most of which are located in Olympia on our state capitol campus,

The World War II memorial in Olympia focuses on the nearly 6000 Washington residents who gave their lives in battle during this war. Dedicated in 1999, it's one of the first in the country to honor those who served in WWII.  Large bronze blades are engraved with soldier names, and placed on a world map noting particular major battles.

Also located on the Capitol campus is the Korean War memorial.  Titled "The Forgotten War," this memorial names 532 deceased troops of the 122,000 Washingtonians who served in Korea and offers information about the war. Of the approximately 1.5million Americans serving in the Korean War, 53,000 lost their lives.

Over 1,100 Washington casualties are memorialized at the Vietnam Veterans memorial wall on Olympia's West Campus.  Located on a grassy knoll and under a large shade tree to provide quiet and calm, this second, and improved, memorial of the Vietnam War names the missing and killed chronologically by death and can be read or touched by all.

While on the Capitol campus, make sure to also visit the POW-MIA memorial and the Medal of Honor memorial.

Lives lost in World War I are memorialized at Washington's Stonehenge. Thanks to Sam Hill, a Washington roadbuilder, a full-size replica of Stonehenge is located along the Columbia River in Maryhill, WA. Hill created this nearly identical reproduction on his belief of England's Stonehenge to be a sacrificial place and so as a reminder of humanity as "still being sacrificed to the god of war."

Aside from visiting these somber reminders of the price of our freedoms, consider the myriad of events going on around the area.  Major cemeteries around the state will be offering ceremonies and events to further commemorate the day.


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