Memorial Day is a nationally recognized holiday in the United States to honor and mourn the military personnel who have died in the performance of their military duties.  The holiday is observed on the last Monday of May. The holiday was observed on May 30 from 1868 to 1970.

Pursuant to the National Moment of Remembrance Act passed in 2000, at 3:00 pm local time on Memorial Day, Americans are to stop and remember those who died in service to the United States.

The American Battle Monuments Commission administers, operates, and maintains 26 permanent U.S. military cemeteries, and 29 memorials and monuments both inside and outside the United States. The largest such cemetery in terms of the number of burials is the Manila American Cemetery and Memorial located in Bonifacio Global City, an upscale financial and residential district in Taguig, Manila, Philippines.

Manila American Cemetery and Memorial

The cemetery covers 152 acres and is the final resting spot for the remains of 16,636 Americans and 570 Philippine Scouts (currently) who lost their lives in World War II.  Most died in the Philippines or New Guinea.

Graves are arranged around a circular structure that includes a chapel and two hemicycles that honor 36,285 of the missing servicemen from the war in the Pacific.  I assume the large number of missing is due to the number of people who went down with their ships or otherwise perished at sea in the numerous naval engagements of WWII in the Pacific.

As remains of missing are discovered and identified, a rosette is placed behind the name on the wall.

Twenty-five mosaic maps recall the actions of American armed forces in the Pacific, China, India and Burma in WWII.

Depiction of one of the naval actions during the battle to liberate the Philippines in 1944.

I commend the American Battle Monuments Commission and the local authorities for taking such fabulous care of this cemetery.  When I visited in January 2015, the grounds and buildings were immaculate.

Manila American Cemetery and Memorial

I wish that all Americans enjoy the day, which is the unofficial start of summer, while remembering the fallen and that honoring them requires allegiance to the founding principles and documents of our republic rather than individuals, political parties, or personal interests.