Next Monday, Americans will observe Memorial Day. Originally known as Decoration Day, the special day originated in the years following the Civil War and became an official federal holiday in 1971. Unofficially, it marks the beginning of the summer season. Mike Dunlap, of Forsyth, has reason to pause and reflect on that day. He lost a few friends in the Viet Nam War.

Born in Memphis in 1947, Dunlap is the son of a serviceman, Floyd Lewis Dunlap, who served as a sergeant first class in the Army-Air Corp during World War II. His father met his mother, Nina, in Sheffield, England just after the war. To get to the US, she boarded the Queen Mary and sailed across the Atlantic in 1946. His father also served in the Korean Conflict in the 2nd Infantry Division.