Today is Memorial Day.
The tendency by many is to think of Memorial Day as the unofficial start of Summer as well as a day that's part of a long weekend which will include a barbecue and other fun stuff.
But, the real meaning behind Memorial Day has nothing to do with that.
Memorial Day originated as "Decoration Day" in 1868 following the Civil War when the Grand Army of the Republic, an organization of Union veterans, established the day as a time for the nation to decorate the graves of the Union war dead with flowers.
Meanwhile, in the South, the former Confederate states had created their own traditions.
Memorial Day merged those traditions and, as additional wars were fought, it became a day to honor all Americans who served in the military and died.
In 2000, to re-focus the meaning of the holiday from a "three-day weekend that starts Summer", Congress passed 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."
So, before you enjoy that backyard barbecue or go shopping to buy something at a Memorial Day sale today, take some time to reflect on all those who paid the ultimate sacrifice for all of the freedoms we enjoy as Americans. 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!!!