Remembering Why We Celebrate Memorial Day

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    So…if you’re like most of us you’re excited about the upcoming long weekend.  Grills will soon be fired up, sun will hopefully be shining and the long awaited “unofficial” return of summer begins with the Memorial Day weekend.  Traditionally we all look forward to a break as schools come to a close, the weather turns and the season of swimming, grilling and sun lays before us filled with optimism and opportunities to play, vacation and relax.

    We hope everyone enjoys the day and that it serves as the start of an amazing summer.

    But before we light up that grill, throw on those burgers, steaks and hot dogs let’s all take a moment and remember what it is we’re celebrating on the last Monday in May every year since 1971.

    Memorial Day unofficially began following the Civil War in 1868 to honor those fallen during this time of great divide in our nation’s history.  It was set up as a day to decorate the graves of soldiers that had given all and deserved a moment’s reflection and gratitude.  Different groups and communities adopted similar traditions and expanded upon the idea leading up to it’s official status in 1971 as a federal holiday.

    It’s customary on Memorial Day to fly old glory at half staff until noon, and then raise to the top of the staff until sunset that night.  Other customs throughout our nation include parades honoring our veterans, visiting military cemeteries and volunteering at local VA hospitals and clinics.  In addition, Congress in 2000 set up a national moment of reflection to remind us to take a moment and give thanks to those we honor on this day.  Every Memorial Day at 3PM, Americans are asked to break from whatever we’re doing and observe a moment of silence to that end.

    We are fortunate to live in a nation where so many have served and fought to protect the freedoms and liberties we enjoy.  Many have given much, some have sacrificed all.  We are forever thankful to each of them and remember them on this day.

    Our wishes to all for a safe and reverent Memorial Day weekend.  Have fun, enjoy the time with family and friends – but take a few moments throughout the festivities to remember those that made it all possible.

    Leave a comment down below and share with us what Memorial Day means for you and how you celebrate this special day.

    Until next time,

     

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    8 Responses to “Remembering Why We Celebrate Memorial Day”

    • Joyce Becotte

      Written on

      When I was young I knew that Memorial Day was meant to honor the fallen men who fought for our freedom…but I merely looked forward to the parades,cookouts, a day off work,etc….Nowadays that I’m older, I spend the day quietly feeding the birds, puttering in my garden that is beginning to give us asparagus, watching how the media relays their respect for our fallen men….& overall thinking on & off throughout the day the sacrifices families made through years of wars that we may live as we do today….I’m grateful.

      Reply
      • John Kotrides

        Written on

        Joyce, thank you for your comments. I think most of us grow more thoughtful of those we honor on this day as we grow older. What a wonderful example of how to spend the day!

        Reply
      • John Kotrides

        Written on

        Well said and we’re sure it is appreciated.

        Reply
    • Donna Sigman

      Written on

      Thank you for honoring fallen servicemen and women…something that is near and dear to my heart as my son was deployed 5 times to Afghanistan as an Army Ranger. Each deployment was months of terror for me as a mom, even having only snippets of information as to what he was doing each night as he went out missions. He lost many brothers and I can tell you, once you hug the neck of a mother whose son didn’t come back, you are never the same. It is very frustrating how way too many Americans take the sacrifice of our service members, the rights and freedoms they ensure, for granted.

      Thank you also for calling for reverence for the holiday – I have actually heard fireworks the past 2 nights! That is the epitome of how clueless the American public is regarding this day of honoring our fallen. Anyone who has been into battle pretty much hates fireworks – they remind them too much of the hell fire they fought in!

      Thank you for your thoughtful and meaningful blog –

      Reply
      • John Kotrides

        Written on

        Donna, it seems too little to thank you, your son and his brothers for their service but we do thank you. Our gratitude is endless.

        Reply
    • Barbara DePuy

      Written on

      Thank you for that heartfelt and educational summary of what Memorial Day should mean to all of us. In memory of all who served and returned and all of those who did not…

      Reply
      • John Kotrides

        Written on

        You’re so welcome Barbara! We are fortunate to be able to enjoy the day and simply wanted to make sure we all remember solemnly why we can.

        Reply

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