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It's always the generals with the bloodiest records who are the first to shout what a hell it is. And it's always the war widows who lead the Memorial Day parades.

While tributes to Americans who had lost their lives in battle had been held in a number of towns across the nation one of the more well-known stories about the beginnings of Memorial Day is the story about General John Logan.

Ceremonies are important. But our gratitude has to be more than visits to the troops and once-a-year Memorial Day ceremonies. We honor the dead best by treating the living well.

From 1971 onwards the Memorial Day holiday was officially observed on the last Monday in May and became the unofficial start of the summer with barbecues blockbuster movie openings and mattress sales.

Nowadays many Americans have forgotten the meaning and traditions of Memorial Day. At cemeteries across the country the graves of the fallen are sadly ignored and worse neglected.

While there are towns and cities still planning Memorial Day parades many have not held a parade in decades. Some think the day is for honoring anyone who has died not just those fallen in service to our country.

I am going to take something I learned over in Israel. Their Independence Day is preceded the 24 hours before with Memorial Day so it gives them a chance to serve and reflect and then celebrate. I am going to try to start that tradition here in America.

As America celebrates Memorial Day we pay tribute to those who have given their lives in our nation's wars.

I had two family members involved in World War I: two great-uncles. One of them is on a memorial in France. And the other was a trench runner who survived the war. The average life span of a trench runner was 36 hours but he survived the whole war.

I started studying what the nature of a monument is and what a monument should be. And for the World War III memorial I designed a futile almost terrifying passage that ends nowhere.

I deliberately did not read anything about the Vietnam War because I felt the politics of the war eclipsed what happened to the veterans. The politics were irrelevant to what this memorial was.

On Memorial Day I don't want to only remember the combatants. There were also those who came out of the trenches as writers and poets who started preaching peace men and women who have made this world a kinder place to live.

I spent some time at White Memorial Medical Center as a senior medical student doing a rotation in surgery however I felt I wasn't getting enough time assisting.

On our plane knowledge and ignorance are the immemorial adversaries.

Memorial Day this year is especially important as we are reminded almost daily of the great sacrifices that the men and women of the Armed Services make to defend our way of life.

137 years later Memorial Day remains one of America's most cherished patriotic observances. The spirit of this day has not changed - it remains a day to honor those who died defending our freedom and democracy.

For famous men have the whole earth as their memorial.

From time immemorial artistic insights have been revealed to artists in their sleep and in dreams so that at all times they ardently desired them.

So the premise of 'The Submission' is that there's an anonymous competition to design a 9/11 memorial and it's won by an American Muslim an architect born and raised in Virginia and his name is Mohammad Khan.

Three years ago the Government announced the creation of Reconciliation Place and said that it would include a memorial to those removed from their families. However they refused to include any of those who were removed in the design of their own memorial.

After the Great Depression and after public urging a nationwide public competition was held to determine a design for a memorial that would honor President Thomas Jefferson's bold vision for westward expansion for America.

On Memorial Day I was out floating on Lake Norman and came across Denny Hamlin. We struck up a conversation and one of the first things we were talking about was how much it helped him when he started racing the Cup car and how much it helped his Nationwide program.

When I was building the Vietnam Memorial I never once asked the veterans what it was like in the war because from my point of view you don't pry into other people's business.

It is curious how from time immemorial man seems to have associated the idea of evil with beauty shrunk from it with a sort of ghostly fear while at the same time drawn to it by force of its hypnotic attraction.