Memorial Day marked in a somber rain

JACKSON HOLE, WYO – It seems it rains every Memorial Day in Jackson, and perhaps that is how it should be. For the holiday is one of remembrance of those who paid the ultimate price while wearing the uniform of the United States Armed Forces.

It’s been defacto adopted as the official start to the summer season, a day of backyard barbecuing, and the final day of Old West Days celebration in Jackson.

But first and foremost, Memorial Day is one day a year set aside for those who died in the service of this country. Unlike Veterans Day, which is for the living who served, Memorial Day is a more somber day, which makes it tricky for some to navigate. Do you wish someone a ‘Happy Memorial Day,’ for instance? No, that’s not the most appropriate greeting for the day.

The roots of the designated federal holiday can be traced vaguely to an American South tradition, ‘Decoration Day,’ around the time of the Civil War. It became an official federal holiday in 1971 when the date was moved from May 30 to the last Monday in May.

The Jackson Hole American Legion Post 43 has always commemorated the day with a memorial service at 10am at the flagpole on the town square.

Memorial service on the town square this morning with JH American Legion Post 43. (SeeJH.com)

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