For the past week I have been hearing on the radio how Memorial Day weekend officially kicks off summer. Basically a three day weekend leading to summer. Technically, summer doesn’t start until the end of June (the 21st I believe). I can understand why many people consider Memorial Day to be the unofficial start of summer, because the school year is coming to an end and the kids get a nice long break It means even more than the start of summer for me because: one, I have family members who have served and continue to serve this great country in which we live and this is a time to acknowledge my relatives as well as all the men and women who have and continue to sacrifice so that we can enjoy our freedom. And secondly, sixteen years ago on Memorial Day (May 25th) we received the best gift ever a beautiful, healthy baby boy.
History of Memorial Day
The holiday got started on May 30, 1868, when Union General John A. Logan declared the day an occasion to decorate the graves of Civil War soldiers. Twenty years later, the name was changed to Memorial Day. On May 11, 1950, Congress passed a resolution requesting that the President issue a proclamation calling on Americans to observe each Memorial Day as a day of prayer for permanent peace and designating a period on that day when the people of the United States might unite in prayer. President Richard M. Nixon declared Memorial Day a federal holiday in 1971. Memorial Day is now observed on the last Monday of May. It is an occasion to honor the men and women who died in all wars. The men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice so that we may enjoy freedom of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
According to a article published in Time Kids here are some ways to honor those who served:
Remembering Those Who Served
It is customary to mark Memorial Day by visiting graveyards and war monuments. One of the biggest Memorial Day traditions is for the President or Vice President to give a speech and lay a wreath on soldiers’ graves in the largest national cemetery, Arlington National Cemetery, in Virginia. Most towns have local Memorial Day celebrations. Here are some ways you can honor the men and women who serve our country:
– Put flags or flowers on the graves of men and women who served in wars.
– Fly the U.S. flag at half-staff until noon.
– Visit monuments dedicated to soldiers, sailors and marines.
– Participate in a National Moment of Remembrance at 3 p.m. local time.
– March in a parade.
So instead of going to the mall to shop all the sales, heading to the beach in that new swimsuit or taking in the newest blockbuster movie; remember that Memorial Day has the word “memorial” in it for a reason.
What does Memorial Day mean to you?