Monday is Memorial Day, which, for many, is associated with a day off work, food, family and fun. I, too, enjoy kicking off the summer with a good Memorial Day celebration; however, Memorial Day is more than that… a lot more.
Memorial Day is the time for Americans to reconnect with their history and core values by honoring those who gave their lives for the ideals we cherish. A day set aside for remembrance of those who have served or are currently serving and those who have died in our nation’s service.
For the history buffs out there (definitely not me… I looked it up!), Memorial Day was first proclaimed on May 5, 1868 by General John Logan and was first observed on May 30, 1868. Flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers on that day in 1868, except in the south, which at first refused to acknowledge Memorial Day and honored their dead on separate days until after WWI.
It would be expected for me to suggest to you all that you enjoy a healthy Memorial Day by making healthier food choices when grilling out, limiting your alcohol intake and engaging in activities that will get your heart rate up and keep you moving. And I do encourage you to do all of those things. However, I invite you all to make this Memorial Day “healthy” by also focusing on a different area of your wellbeing: your spirit.
On Monday, May 30, I encourage you to enjoy your day off work, spend time with family and friends, get outside, have some fun (hopefully the weather will cooperate) and celebrate Memorial Day in your own way. In addition, I ask that each of us take some time, even a couple of moments, to stop and think about why this day is observed and send out a special thank you to those that lost their lives serving our country, as well as those that have and are currently out there fighting for our freedom now. Play the National Anthem, attend a Memorial Day ceremony/observance and fly your American flag proudly. Whatever way works best for you, help carry on the tradition and the significance of Memorial Day and honor those that it was created for.
Until next time… never forget the sacrifices of others and honor them in your heart.