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Gov. Whitmer to Honor Fallen Heroes and Proclaim May 31 as Memorial Day

LANSING, Mich. — Governor Gretchen Whitmer has recognized May 31, 2021, as Memorial Day to remember and pay honor to the brave men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice in protecting the freedom and security of our state and nation.

"On Memorial Day, we honor the memory of those who gave their lives so that the rest of us could live ours freely and peacefully," said Governor Gretchen Whitmer. "We owe our fallen men and women in uniform a debt that we can never repay. My heart goes out to the service members we have lost and to their families, who live on with one more empty chair, a wall of photographs and a lifetime of stories. Our country has been built and protected by people who stood up for something greater than themselves. Thanks to their service and sacrifice, our future is bright."

While there are many ways to pay honor to our nation's fallen heroes including attending a local service or visiting the graves of fallen soldiers, The National Moment of Remembrance encourages all Americans to pause wherever they are at 3 p.m. local time on Memorial Day. The U.S. Congress passed The National Moment of Remembrance Act in December of 2000 to establish and designate the time to encourage commemoration of Memorial Day.

"At 3 p.m. on Memorial Day, everyone is encouraged to observe a moment of silence to recognize those who have died while serving in our Armed Forces," said U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Paul Rogers, adjutant general and director of the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs. "We will always remember their sacrifice and want their families and friends to know that they will not be forgotten."  

The state veterans cemetery on the campus of the Michigan Veteran Homes at Grand Rapids at 3000 Monroe Avenue NE, Grand Rapids, is open for visitation this weekend and visitors can access the cemetery through the main entrance on Lamberton Street NE. Those interested in visiting one of Michigan's two national veterans cemeteries should contact the cemetery directly regarding updated visitor information, For more information on upcoming events taking place throughout the state in honor of Memorial Day, please visit



WHEREAS, the Civil War had claimed more lives than any other conflict in the United States history and required the establishment of the country's first national cemeteries; and,

WHEREAS, in the late 1860s following the Civil War, Americans began to decorate the graves of fallen soldiers with flowers and recited prayers in remembrance of their fallen loved ones; and,

WHEREAS, a proclamation was issued by General John A Logan that Decoration Day was to be observed annually with the first official day of recognition to be observed on May 30, 1868; and,

WHEREAS, after World War II, Decoration Day evolved to honor fallen heroes who died in any American war; and,

WHEREAS, in 1971, Decoration Day became officially known as Memorial Day, which was to be commemorated on the last Monday in May as a national holiday; and,

WHEREAS, the success of our state would not be possible without the brave soldiers who served in our armed forces and who have lost their lives while defending our freedoms; and,

WHEREAS, during this day, we must remember and honor the countless individuals who made the ultimate sacrifice while protecting the freedom and security of our state and nation, as well as express our appreciation and thanks to the families and loved ones of those we lost; and,

WHEREAS, the National Moment of Remembrance encourages all Americans to pause wherever they are at 3 p.m. local time on Memorial Day for a moment of silence to memorialize those who have died while serving our nation;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Gretchen Whitmer, governor of Michigan, do hereby proclaim May 31, 2021 as Memorial Day in Michigan.

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