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One hundred fifty-three years ago Southern Illinois’ own, General John A. Logan, issued General Order No. 11, which called for a national day of remembrance to honor the veterans who perished during the Civil War. Though it was not formally established until 1938 – 70 years later - General Logan’s historic order served as the basis for what is now Memorial Day.
Memorial Day is when we honor and remember the fallen. It is when we recommit to ensuring their memories are not forgotten and the continued sacrifices of their families are not unnoticed. It is also when we rededicate ourselves to the values of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” for which these veterans gave their lives.
As you are spending time with your family, friends, and neighbors this Memorial Day, please take a moment to remember the true purpose of this sacred day and spare a thought for the fallen heroes who are no longer with us and the loved ones they left behind. I encourage you to enjoy this day, but do not forget the immeasurable sacrifice America’s fallen heroes made so that we can be free. May their loss never be forgotten. May it inspire us to lead lives worthy of their sacrifice.