Remember the Reason Behind the Day

I can probably safely guess that we’re all pretty excited about the upcoming long weekend. Not only does Memorial Day grant us a slightly longer weekend, it also represents the unofficial start of summertime. It’s an excuse to get together with friends and family, eat more than we should, and bake ourselves under that sun we had been missing during the winter and spring months.  During the fun you’ll surely have this weekend, I encourage you to think about the reason behind Memorial Day. Originally called Decoration Day, Memorial Day began as individual cities regularly honored soldiers who had paid the ultimate price. Individuals and several official groups decorated grave sites of soldiers with flower wreaths and flags. Many cities claim to have been the first to celebrate Memorial Day, which was officially proclaimed a holiday on May 5th, 1868 by General John Logan with its first observation on May 30th, 1868. To date, over a million men and women have sacrificed their lives for the freedom of their country. Let’s appreciate these men and women by decorating their grave sites, thanking their families, and acknowledging the many who actively serve now or who have come home safely from battle. So much of what our military does is out of our sight; their hard work usually occurs in different lands or on bases far from home. Let’s make an effort to consciously think of them this weekend and every day.  Find ways to get involved, whether it’s with an organization serving the military and their families or simply shaking the hands of those in uniform when you pass by, honor the individuals who protect us every day.