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Letters: Name of holiday changed but purpose remained the same

To the editor:

It started 150 years ago at the beginning of the Civil War when Americans were at war with Americans. Brother against brother. State against state.

From the first battles soldiers died and they left behind widows and mothers, sisters and friends. Even in those early war years in 1863 women's groups in the South decorated the graves of fallen Confederate soldiers and later in the North families decorated the graves of fallen Union soldiers. After the end of the war by 1868 the U.S. Government first observed a day to decorate the graves of all fallen soldiers.

Today Decoration Day is recognized as Memorial Day and families place flowers on the graves of the American war dead of many conflicts who have died in service to this country. We should also remember with long lasting gratitude the sacrifice the American heroes who died on September 11, 2001.

ROBERT L. OBERST, SYRACUSE

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