Connect to Congress: Memorial Day
The nation will mark its 45th official Memorial Day on Monday; the day was established as a federal holiday in 1971. However, many parts of the U.S. observed the date as far back as the 1860s -- calling it Decoration Day -- as towns remembered their fallen of the Civil War.
This week members of the U.S. House of Representatives also paused to reflect on Memorial Day before heading off for a week-long recess.
Rep. Henry Cuellar's, D-Texas, state has a very large military and veteran presence. He says the day should be used to celebrate veterans.
"All the basic rights that we take for granted are there because our veterans have provided," Cuellar says. "It should be the catalyst, for every single day of the year, we thank the veterans."
Rep. Randy Weber, R-Texas, echoed thanks to the veterans, and believes Americans should also reflect on the founding fathers of this country, as well as the state of the country, adding a little more about the current political atmosphere.
"We ought to reflect on this great nation -- where it's come from, where we are -- and think about the presidential race and where we want to be."
Rep. Joyce Beatty, D-Ohio, however, seemed to push to mark the day without politics, saying, "Let's make this a day of unity and a day of thanks."
Beatty also added to those who've served and their families: "Thank you for your service. Thank you to those who are survivors and thank you to the [families] of those who fought for us."
This article was first published on WJLA's website on May 27, 2016.