Bruin fans, it's Memorial Day, a federal holiday meant to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice in service to our country.
Over the years, it's come to be viewed as the unofficial start of Summer or the start of barbecue season.
But, that couldn't be further from the truth. The holiday has its origins in the post-Civil War era when the Grand Army of the Republic, an organization of Union veterans, established it as a day to decorate the graves of the war dead with flowers.
Eventually, according to Wikipedia's entry on the holiday, "competing Union and Confederate holiday traditions, celebrated on different days, had merged, and Memorial Day eventually extended to honor all Americans who died while in the military service."
The same article also discusses the change in the date of Memorial Day from its traditional date of May 30th to the last Monday in May as part of the Uniform Monday Holiday Act passed by Congress in June 1968 which moved four holidays from their traditional dates to a specified Monday in order to create a three-day weekend.
Many believe that this change has led many Americans to treat the holiday non-chalantly and would like to see the holiday returned to its original May 30th date to re-focus the meaning of the holiday.
In an attempt to re-focus the meaning of the holiday, Congress passed, in 2000, the National Moment of Remembrance Act which "designates 3:00 p.m. local time on Memorial Day each year as the National Moment of Remembrance, in honor of the men and women of the United States who died in the pursuit of freedom and peace."
By all means, go out today and enjoy the freedom we all enjoy as Americans. But I also want you to remember that freedom isn't free. It has been bought and paid for by the lives of those Americans who have been courageous and brave to fight for our freedom and paid the ultimate price for it.
Please remember to take at least a minute today to remember the men and women who have died fighting for our freedom. It's a small sacrifice from your Memorial Day fun to thank those who have sacrificed a lot more.
Thank you to all of those who gave their lives in service to our country!!!