Memorial Day means more than a long weekend of barbecues, picnics and fun. Memorial Day’s origin dates back to the Civil War, when General James Garfield declared Decoration Day on May 30, 1868 to honor and decorate the graves of twenty thousand Union and Confederate soldiers buried at Arlington National Cemetery. 20 years later the name was changed to Memorial Day. On May 11, 1950, Congress passed a resolution asking the President to call on Americans to observe Memorial Day as a day of prayer for peace. Memorial Day was designated as a federal holiday in 1971 by President Richard M. Nixon, and is now observed on the last Monday in May as a day to honor and remember the men and women who gave their lives serving our country in all wars.

Three of the surgeons at Bay Oral Surgery are ex-military, Dr. David LeMoine, Dr. Bradley Koch, and Dr. Charles Ellis. When asked to share what Memorial Day means to him, Dr. David LeMoine stated, “One of my most memorable moments in uniform came during the coalition forces action in liberation of Kuwait in 1991. I was asked and ordered back to duty to support our efforts in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. It was a proud and happy moment to see our servicemen return successful and mostly unharmed. God bless the USA!”

When celebrating this weekend, we ask that you take a moment to remember those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our country. Put a flag or flowers on the graves of those who have served, fly the flag at half staff until noon on Memorial Day, visit a monument dedicated to soldiers, participate in the National Moment of Remembrance at 3pm in your time zone, or march in your local Memorial Day Parade.

You can read more about the history of Memorial Day at