This Memorial Day Weekend is often the unofficial beginning of Summer. It’s a longer weekend so many of you will be taking this opportunity to soak in a little more sun, do some fishing, finish planting your garden, or just hang out in the back yard to do some grilling with family and friends. I hope you take this time to enjoy! Yet, while you and I are doing this, let’s remember to say a prayer for those who have made the enjoyment of all our summer activities possible, namely the men and women of our armed forces. Without them, we could not have this great country and celebrate Memorial Day.
Memorial Day was first known as “Decoration Day” whereby the tombs of Civil War soldiers from both sides, the Confederate and Union, were honored or decorated as a way to remember them. As time went on by 1882, it was renamed “Memorial Day” honoring all dead soldiers from all the wars we have fought to protect our American freedoms. Believe it or not, it was not until 1967 that Federal Law made “Memorial Day” the official name and not until 1971 that the date was permanently set as the last Monday in May by Congress.
Memorial Day should not be confused with Veterans Day in November where all service men and woman are recognized whether living or dead. Memorial Day, on the other hand, is different since it honors only those who have actually died and paid the ultimate price while serving our country. Maybe you know someone in your family in times past who has died for us! So, while you are enjoying that extra time off and while you are grilling those burgers and brats, be sure to add to your meal prayer a remembrance of those who died for our freedoms. “May God bless those who have given their life. May they rest in the golden fields of God!” Amen.