Today, Memorial Day, is one of the most symbolic American Holidays. It’s a day off work for most people and a chance to spend the day with family and friends at a BBQ or at the beach. Or maybe it’s an opportunity to go away for the extended weekend. But for those of you who may not know, let’s talk a little bit about Memorial Day.
Why do we celebrate Memorial Day?
Sadly, many people don’t realize exactly why Memorial Day is celebrated. It’s way more than a day off work and some hot dogs on the grill. This holiday was created for us to remember, recognize, and appreciate our American men and women of the military that died serving our country. It’s a day to give thanks to those who paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom… the very freedom that allows us to enjoy that hot dog or day at the beach today. It’s a day to honor the lives of those that voluntarily defended and fought for our freedom.
There is also some confusion between Memorial Day, Veterans’ Day, and Armed Forces Day. To put it simply…
Armed Forces Day celebrates those currently in uniform.
Veterans’ Day celebrates those who proudly wore the uniform.
Memorial Day celebrates those who died wearing the uniform.
When did Memorial Day start?
Officially, the holiday was first recognized in 1966. President Lyndon B. Johnson signed a proclamation deeming Memorial Day a federal holiday.
Unofficially, however, Americans have been gathering for over a century at cemeteries across the country, specifically on May 30th, to visit our “fallen heroes”, their family, friends and loved ones.
In 1968, it was decided that there would not be an exact date, such as May 30th, for the holiday, but instead, in order to create a 3-day weekend, Memorial Day was designated as the last Monday in May each and every year.
Some people may say it is disrespectful to celebrate instead of mourning. Other’s feel the opposite. That said, I suppose it is personal preference. Those heroes, who fought for our freedom, they fought for our right to gather with friends and family and have a BBQ. So, in a way, we are celebrating their lives and thanking them for the sacrifice they made for us.
So, no matter what you do to “celebrate” Memorial Day, today and every day, why not take a moment to acknowledge and appreciate the reason you can do that in first place. Take a moment of silence. Say a toast to those we’ve lost. Spread the word about the true meaning of Memorial Day.
And while you are at it, grill up one extra hot dog and pour one extra beer.
From all of us at Elation Real Estate, we salute our Fallen Heroes.