Rep. Chris Smith Awarded for His Heroic Pro-Life Efforts

In a gala Americans United for Life is sponsoring tonight, pro-life champion and New Jersey Congressman Chris Smith will receive the 2012 Henry J. Hyde Defender of Life Award for his leadership on pro-life issues in the House of Representatives.

“Congressman Smith has shown unfailing, unflinching leadership for life throughout his 3 decades in Congress,” said Charmaine Yoest, president of AUL.

“Congressman Chris Smith’s heroic defense of life during his tenure in the U.S. House of Representatives includes his fight to end taxpayer-funding of abortion, his steadfast leadership to safeguard the health and safety of women against the harmful effects of abortion, and his work to defend the human rights of all human beings both domestically and internationally,” Yoest. “On Capitol Hill, Chris Smith has also joined AUL in calling for an investigation into the misuse of taxpayer funds by the abortion industry, a truly bipartisan effort.”

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The meaning of Memorial Day

Officially, Memorial Day, observed on the last Monday of May (this year it’s May 30), honors the war dead. Unofficially, the day honors the start of summer. (More on that in a moment.)

The upcoming three-day weekend has prompted searches on Yahoo! for “when is memorial day,” “what is memorial day,” and “memorial day history.” The day was originally known as “Decoration Day” because the day was dedicated to the Civil War dead, when mourners would decorate gravesites as a remembrance.

The holiday was first widely observed on May 30, 1868, when 5,000 people helped decorate the gravesites of 20,000 Union and Confederate soldiers buried at Arlington National Cemetery. (Some parts of the South still remember members of the Confederate Army with Confederate Memorial Day.)

After World War I, the observances were widened to honor the fallen from all American wars–and in 1971, Congress declared Memorial Day a national holiday.

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