POSTED: Monday, May 25, 2009 - 10:16pm
UPDATED: Thursday, February 25, 2010 - 12:33pm
Memorial day was officially proclaimed in 1868.
The origin stems from "decoration day" -- a tradition after the civil war of placing flowers on the graves of those killed.
We spoke to several valley residents about their thoughts on this special day.
We hit the streets to see if residents know the true meaning of Memorial Day.
Many spent their holiday on the sandy beaches of south padre island with family and friends.
"Memorial day is like a big vacation to be with my family," Rigo Ramirez says.
But for others this memorial day, was about something much more.
"Memorial day means remembering those who fought for our country, looking at a veteran and congratulating them, without them we wouldn't be were we are today."
Cristina Garcia is studying to be a history professor, and she says, our nation's past is not something to be forgotten.
"Remembering the past, because you don't want to repeat the past," Garcia says.
And for Air Force Veteran, Gene Dougher, Memorial day, he says, is about respect for all veterans.
"One of the things I do when I see someone in unifrom, they come in a restaurant, I buy them lunch, that's how much, i appreciate the people who serve our country like i did."
He says, he's traveled to 67 countries, and all Americans need to be thankful for what we got.
He says, "We are fortunate, we are a blessed country, but we don't always appreciate it."