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Memorial Day – What Does It Mean To You?

Most of us get a nice extended weekend this week thanks to the Memorial Day holiday, but it’s way more than just that.

Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images

Memorial Day is the type of holiday that I think a lot of us take for granted.  We use it as an excuse to have parties, go on vacations and do yard work but in reality it’s a day for us to remember all the men and women in our armed forces who have given their lives for this country.

Now spending time with the family and grilling up some great food should not be frowned upon, but just keep that in the back of your head.  Some if not all of us are related to or know someone in the armed forces.  My Grandfather served in the US Navy during WWII and was in some of the craziest action over in the Pacific.  I know that he lost some friends.  Three of my Uncles are also Navy vets as well as my late cousin Michael.  Now none of them were lost to the cause, so really their holiday is Veterans day.  A lot of people confuse the two.  I’ve even heard people say things as outrageous as “Why do they get two days?  When’s my day?”  Please people. In my opinion two days isn’t enough.  We should be thankful for our men and women in uniform every single day.

Memorial Day wasn’t declared a national holiday until the 1970′s.  It was observed, but nothing was actually official.  It first began when people would decorate the graves of the fallen Union and Confederate soldiers during the Civil War.  Back then it was called “Decoration Day”.  Now though it is a day to remember all the men and women who have lost their lives in wars involving America.  The difference between itself and Veterans Day is that Vet’s Day is there to honor men and women in uniform who are both living and deceased and Memorial Day is just to honor the deceased.

Now I’ll celebrate the day by hanging out with my family, enjoying some food and the company.  Not far from my mind though will be all the brave soldiers who have gone above and beyond anything that I could  ever do.  I would like to thank and salute them and all who have served.  So enjoy the holiday folks, but do try and remember what it’s really about.

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