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Editorial: Honor the fallen soldiers

As we move into the Memorial Day weekend, let us remember the real reason for the holiday.

Observed on the last Monday of May, Memorial Day was created to honor the men and women who died serving in the U.S. military.

Originally known as Decoration Day to honor the large numbers of Civil War dead, the day became known after World War I as a day to honor all fallen service members who gave their lives.

In 1971, an act of Congress made Memorial Day what it is today.

Typically across the country there are Memorial Day parades and ceremonies, and people visit cemeteries and memorials. Others may host a barbecue or get together with family or friends for the holiday as the unofficial start to summer.

Though Memorial Day this year will be different than in years past, we ask that you not forget to pay tribute to the heroes — the soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines — who paid the ultimate price for our country.

We have much to be grateful for.

In Albert Lea, the traditional ceremony at Graceland Cemetery will not be held, but the  American Legion is hosting a live ceremony on Facebook and KATE Radio at 9:15 a.m. Monday with Cmdr. Jeff Olson and Jeff Dahlen with the Minnesota National Guard.

Take a few minutes out of your day to listen in on the ceremony if you can, or visit a local cemetery or veterans memorial. Though things are a little more hectic this year than normal, this still should be a priority.