For many, the last Monday of May means a three day weekend, an opportunity for a barbecue, a chance to snag the best deal at “the biggest sale of the season” at your local department store.
It’s fairly rare to hear the words “Memorial Day” without “sale”, “parade”, or “party” tacked on the end.
A day of remembrance that originated after the Civil War and became a federal holiday in 1971, Memorial Day is a first and foremost a chance for us to remember, honor, and pay respects to those who lost their lives defending our country and our freedom.
We are able to have our barbecues, go shopping, and have a day off work because they laid down their lives for us.
In 2000, the government proposed that at 3 p.m. on Memorial Day, citizens across the nation should participate in a moment of silence to honor those fallen.
Another common misconception about Memorial Day is that it is also intended to honor veterans or those currently still serving our country. As the wife of a Marine Corps veteran, I am a firm believer that you should thank a veteran every day. However, Memorial Day is specifically for those brave men and women who were killed in their service to the U.S. Military.
So this weekend, whether you plan to spend your day shopping, boating, camping, grilling…please remember what the day is truly about. Remember those brave souls who lost their lives protecting the red, white, and blue. Observe a moment of silence at 3 p.m. if you can.
“I have no illusions about what little I can add now to the silent testimony of those who gave their lives willingly for their country… Yet, we must try to honor them—not for their sakes alone, but for our own. And if words cannot repay the debt we owe these men, surely with our actions we must strive to keep faith with them and with the vision that led them to battle and to final sacrifice.”
-Memorial Day 1982-