Gwendolyn Brown
B: 1934-06-14
D: 2018-01-14
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Brown, Gwendolyn
Roy Yarbrough
B: 1952-07-17
D: 2018-01-09
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Yarbrough, Roy
Deonna Martin
B: 1964-10-06
D: 2018-01-07
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Martin, Deonna
Gerald Butcher
B: 1937-06-05
D: 2018-01-02
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Butcher, Gerald
Roy Harris
B: 1934-11-21
D: 2018-01-02
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Harris, Roy
Charles Akester
B: 1922-12-14
D: 2018-01-01
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Akester, Charles
Faye Thornton
B: 1940-05-13
D: 2017-12-31
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Thornton, Faye
Kimberly Combs
B: 1964-10-13
D: 2017-12-31
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Combs, Kimberly
Peggy Barber
B: 1937-07-21
D: 2017-12-31
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Barber, Peggy
Ruth Burris
B: 1935-05-12
D: 2017-12-16
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Burris, Ruth
Yvonne Bynum
B: 1931-03-17
D: 2017-12-15
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Bynum, Yvonne
Daniel Brewer
B: 1952-02-04
D: 2017-12-10
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Brewer, Daniel
Samuel Gee
B: 1936-05-23
D: 2017-12-10
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Gee, Samuel
Esther Scott
B: 1949-07-23
D: 2017-12-09
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Scott, Esther
Janice Armes
B: 1938-05-07
D: 2017-12-07
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Armes, Janice
Donald Robinson
B: 1928-02-08
D: 2017-12-02
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Robinson, Donald
Dorothy Taylor
B: 1924-07-04
D: 2017-11-30
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Taylor, Dorothy
Elizabeth "Libby" Lord
B: 1922-04-14
D: 2017-11-28
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Lord, Elizabeth "Libby"
Lori West
B: 1962-09-29
D: 2017-11-28
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West, Lori
Stephen Bateman
B: 1948-09-14
D: 2017-11-27
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Bateman, Stephen
Mary Margaret Boger
B: 1926-08-23
D: 2017-11-26
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Boger, Mary Margaret


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Third Place Youth Essay Winner

1st PLACE | 2nd PLACE | 3rd PLACE | Honorable Mention

Written By: Alex Lamb

Memorial Day is about having a barbeque with family and celebrating the beginning of summer. Many people today believe this. Plenty of the newer generations have lost the real meaning since they were not around when the holiday was created. While the connotation of Memorial Day changes with the years, what it originally stood for will never change. There will always be people who remember those who risk their lives to better ours. Memorial Day, in its rawest form, is about remembering and giving thanks to brave soldiers who gave their lives in the past and risk them now in order to protect Americans and give us the freedoms we now have.

The soldiers who were originally being honored were those who fought and sacrificed themselves for us in the Civil War. They fought to keep this country together and abolish slavery. General John Logan wished to commemorate them for their service to America by creating a holiday originally known as Decoration Day ("History"). The original way to go about celebrating Decoration Day was to gather up flowers and wreaths, and on May 30th, decorate the graves of the fallen, hence the original name Decoration Day. However, from then on, the meaning of this solemn day was blurred and forgotten, changed to fit ideals and beliefs.

Along with being blurred, some people either no longer celebrate Memorial Day or just think of it as the beginning of summer (Carlson). They have barbeques and forget about the soldiers who fought to protect their forefathers. The people of today often forget that some of them would not be free today if not for those soldiers. How can these people forget to honor those who gave their lives to give them freedom? The true meaning of Memorial Day is becoming so lost that the holiday will soon have a nickname similar to the Korean War; it shall be known as The Forgotten Soldiers.

We must not only honor the ones who fought and died to give us freedom; we must remember to give thanks to those who are still fighting today. War is not finished, so we must remember there is always someone out there fighting for us. Whenever you see someone in uniform, remember to thank them for their service. Whenever you know someone who fought in a war, remember they are building a better place for you. Whenever Memorial Day comes around, remember to not only honor those who died in the Civil War, but also those who are still fighting now.

What was originally meant to remember the sacrifices of fallen Civil War soldiers has been changed to honor those fighting now and those who will fight in the future. Even though some adaptations of Memorial Day are misled, such as forgetting the soldiers and celebrating summer, to some, Memorial Day will never lose its real meaning. The true and everlasting meaning of Memorial Day is to remember and honor the sacrifices made by soldiers of the past and future who take risks in order to protect Americans and give us the freedoms we now have.

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