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MEMORIAL DAY!!! What is it about? Take heed…This may be a bit long to read but worth it.

memorialdayThis Memorial Day weekend I thank all who currently serve and have served in any of our Armed Services. The sacrifices you made and continue to make are not adequately appreciated by all who thrive and prosper by your actions.

Too many take for granted, that which you have fought for and continue to fight for, every day. A plea to those that read this, please include in your thanks and prayers for those who give the ultimate sacrifice, every day, to make sure you and yours sleep in peace every night.

Following is a brief reminder on what Memorial Day is all about, so please leave your thanks and prayers in your comments below or on my blog. It is and will be read by many that are currently serving.

I have been reading a lot of press the last few days and seen many commercials pitching stories on cookbooks, beers, steaks and all sorts of BBQ accessories all reminding me that Memorial Day weekend is the start of “grilling season”. Likewise, we all see the commercials reminding us that it is the start of “Beach Season” and for us to head out to Galveston. Oh and do not let us forget about the 500, the world’s largest single day sporting event.

BBQing, drinking, partying, going to the beach and watching sports on TV?

Well let me enlighten you, Memorial Day is about none of these things. It is about the sacrifices made by those that have served and died to ensure that we have the right, freedom and ability to do all of these things.

Yes, it is a Federal holiday honoring members of all of the United States Armed forces who have perished in war or serving our country, their country and each of you! It all began as Decoration Day following the Civil War, because the living would honor the dead by decorating their resting place.

To this day this tradition endures as is very evident at National Cemeteries where the American flag is placed on every single grave.

In non-military cemeteries the fallen are likewise honored, usually by mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters and sons and daughters as well friends and distant relatives, but anyone is free to pay their respects to those who made the greatest possible sacrifice so that the rest of us can continue to do what we enjoy doing.

Did you know that the traditional time to visit cemeteries or war memorials is at 3PM local time on Memorial Day, which is Monday? All U.S. flags will be flown at half-mast until noon. According to the US Government’s website, you can also “Pay tribute to the U.S. men and women who died during military service by observing a minute of silence at 3:00 PM, local time.”

Memorial Day used to be held on May 30 regardless, and was moved to the last Monday in May in 1968 to create a three-day annual weekend. Interestingly there are those who oppose the weekend idea and advocate its return to fixed date, including the Veterans of Foreign War (VFW). In the Eighties Hawaiian Senator Daniel Inouye, himself a WWII veteran, introduced legislation (unsuccessful) to return the original date. (Yes, I do research what I write) The idea is that if Memorial Day was not simply a long weekend holiday for going to the beach and grilling, more Americans might actually realize that it has a deeper and much more somber meaning. WITH THIS I DO AGREE!!

To the members of the United States Armed Services, past and present, thank you for your service.

“The cost of freedom is always high, but Americans have always paid it. And one path we shall never choose, and that is the path of surrender, or submission.” John Fitzgerald Kennedy

May God bless each of you and all of those to whom you are connected to or will ever be!