Memorial Day is more than a BBQ

Take time to thank a veteran this weekend

To many people, Memorial Day means a hot barbecue, a much welcome three-day weekend, and the beginning of summer vacation. It’s easy to forget the significance of the holiday, which, originally called Decoration Day, is a commemoration of U.S. citizens who died while in military service.

Memorial Day, originally enacted after the American Civil War, is an historical reminder of the virtues and values that our country has believed to be worth fighting for—equal rights, democracy, freedom.

This Memorial Day, I’d like to pay special homage to the individuals who have sacrificed their lives for the sake of our nation. These courageous warriors have given us the tremendous gift our Western lifestyle.

Many people observe this holiday by visiting cemeteries and memorials. A national moment of remembrance takes place at 3 p.m. local time. Another tradition is to fly the flag of the United States at half-staff from dawn until noon local time. Volunteers often place American flags on each grave site at National Cemeteries.

Members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars take donation for poppies in the days leading up to Memorial Day; the poppy’s significance to Memorial Day is the result of the John McCrae poem “In Flanders Fields.” gatherings, and sporting events.

The National Memorial Day Concert takes place on the west lawn of the United States Capitol. The concert is broadcast on PBS and NPR. Music is performed, and respect is paid to the men and women who gave their lives for their country.

This weekend please make it a point to thank not only those that are serving or have served in our armed forces but thank the men and women that serve in our police and fire departments as well.

These people put their life on the line to keep you safe, let them know you appreciate it.

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