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Remembering The Meaning Of Memorial Day

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(credit: KTVT/KTXA) Jeff Ray
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DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - Many people think of Memorial Day weekend as the unofficial start of summer, but it is also a time to pay respect to the service men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice for our nation.

Since 1968, when Memorial Day was moved to the last Monday in May, the holiday has been associated with auto races and barbecues. But national ceremonies on Monday will take a much more somber tone.

Residents at the Highland Springs retirement community prefer the holiday’s original meaning. For them, Monday is a day set aside to honor those who died in military service. The community’s 600 residents will place 400 American flags and war memorial flags into the ground. Residents there did the same thing last year.

Korean War veteran Wally Reed is the man who started this new tradition. “We have a bunch of veterans here,” Reed said, “and we decided that we needed to display our love for our country and honor the veterans. That’s why we wanted to get the flags up, because it’s important.”

Residents will begin placing flags all over the Dallas retirement community’s property at 8:00 a.m. on Friday morning.

Memorial Day originally started as Decoration Day just after the Civil War. It is meant to honor those military members who died. In more than 200 years, more than 1.3 million Americans lost their lives in battle. The holiday is different from Veterans Day — the 11th day of the 11th month — which is meant to honor all of those people who have served.

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