memorial-day-2011For those of us in the United States, this coming Monday is the Memorial Day Holiday and it signals a day off for us – YES! Who doesn’t love a three-day weekend? But there is some history behind that holiday that’s important to remember. We observe Memorial Day to honor those who have died in military service. It was originally called “Decoration Day” because it was a day to decorate the graves of servicemen. Each state adopted their own holiday around this day and then the name was changed and became an official, federally observed Holiday in 1967. It is now observed every year on the last Monday of the month of May so as to create a consistent three-day weekend surrounding this day.

On Memorial Day, American flags are to be raised at half-mast until noon. After noon, the flag is raised full-mast for the rest of the day.

Just because it’s a holiday it doesn’t mean that you have to sleep until noon and be lazy. Weren’t you lazy enough the day before watching the Indianapolis 500? There are plenty of fun things that you can do on this day with your friends and family to honor our fallen soldiers.

Traditional Observation: Most people visit various local memorials and cemeteries to observe the day. You may know those who have lost their lives while fighting for our freedom that you can visit and remember. This may be a great time to bring your children and teach them about what our country has gone through to win our freedom and the jobs that our great men and women perform to make sure that we remain a free country. There is also a national moment of silence at 3:00 pm within each time zone.

Parades: Check your local newspaper for Memorial Day events. Most major towns and cities have a Memorial Daymemorial-day-parade parade; this has been a tradition of many localities for over 100 years. Many local people get involved and help bring awareness to this important and special day. And of course, there’s always the folks who throw candy! If you’re really ambitious (or close), you could head over to the National Memorial Day Parade in Washington, D.C. This is a huge parade with marching bands, floats, member of the military, and a whole bunch of fun stuff.

Barbecues: Memorial Day and BBQs go together like macaroni and cheese. If the weather is nice (or even if it isn’t!), get together with your friends and family members to have a barbecue. Memorial Day is also synonymous with the unofficial start of summer so this is a perfect time to celebrate both events. There are a ton of yummy recipes to please most palates so go nuts! A lot of people also like to make something that is red, white, and blue-themed in the spirit of the holiday (the same goes for the 4th of July). How about a red, white, and blue cake? Or a red, white, and blue pasta salad? The delicious possibilities are endless.

I hope that you all enjoy your Memorial Day 2011 holiday and get to spend it with the ones you love. I will also relish in the day off from my credit card processing and websites.

 

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