This Monday (May 30th) marks the 150th anniversary of Memorial Day in the United States. The day was created as a way to honor fallen U.S. service members and was originally called Decoration Day and first observed in 1866. It was on May 5, 1868 when General John Logan, the national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, officially proclaimed it according to usmemorialday.org. It wasn't until 1971 when Congress passed official legislation marking the three day weekend as a Federal holiday for the government with the National Holiday Act of 1971.

Many ceremonies marking this special day will be held across East Texas commemorating our fallen service members. An event will begin Monday at 11 a.m. at the Gregg County Courthouse. In Tyler, events are scheduled for 11 a.m. Monday at Tyler Memorial Funeral Home on Hwy. 64 and at 1 p.m. at Rose Lawn Memorial Park on Blue Mountain Pkwy. In Kilgore, a ceremony will be held at 9 a.m. at the Kilgore War Veterans Monuments at Harris Street Park. Hallsville will observe Memorial Day with a ceremony at 10 a.m. at Hallsville City Park. In Palestine there will be a Memorial Day celebration Friday morning at 11 a.m. at the Palestine Senior Activity Center.

These are just a few of the events happening around East Texas. Sometime throughout this long three day weekend, take time out to remember those have paid the ultimate price for our freedom. Without these brave men, women and service animals we quite possible would not be able to enjoy the freedom that we have. They are our true heroes for defending us and this great land, the United States of America.