Reporter's Note: Memorial Day has been around since the end of the Civil War. I am writing about it in today’s letter to the White House.
Dear Mr. President,
I was pleased to see that the Monday version of Memorial Day happened to fall upon the traditional date this year of May 30. I was doing some research last week into why the date was changed back in the early 1970’s (mainly to give federal workers another 3-day holiday) and I thought that was kind of sad.
I don’t begrudge people having time off. Heck, I think Americans work too many hours as it is. I just think that something as solemn and important as remembering the troops who have died in service to our country is a bit more important than another chance to go camping or fire up the barbeque.
My single favorite moment in church each week is when we are praying for others and our military folks all over the world are mentioned. I can’t vouch for my prayers ever making anything good happen for them, or keeping them from harm, but I think of them and pray from my heart each time.
Every person who dons a military uniform knows that he or she is agreeing to risk life for the good of the country, and the principles that we defend. But the families who have actually lost a loved one know the true meaning of that commitment.
Often when I am traveling, I will walk through local cemeteries, and I always look for the graves of soldiers, especially those whose stones suggest they died in combat. I don’t know their individual stories. I can’t even say if a given one was a good or bad person. But I know each served the country in which I live and for that I say a silent thanks.
I hope your Memorial Day is meaningful, and peaceful - just as I hope for all the families of our fallen.
Anderson Cooper goes beyond the headlines to tell stories from many points of view, so you can make up your own mind about the news. Tune in weeknights at 8 and 10 ET on CNN.
Questions or comments? Send an email
Want to know more? Go behind the scenes with