The Spirit of Memorial Day

Another Memorial Day is upon us, and it looks like it’s going to be a beautiful day in the valley. Memorial Day is one of the largest barbecue days of the year, and tends to mark the beginning of summer. But it’s important to take a moment to reflect on what it means – to the country, to the military, and to the veterans.

The tradition was started after the Civil War to commemorate the Union soldiers who lost their lives, but by the 20th century it was extended to all of those who lost their lives in service for the country. Traditionally, relatives and friends of deceased soldiers would gather at graveyards and have religious services and picnics, which may be where the present tradition of barbecuing with family and friends began. Ultimately, Memorial Day offers an opportunity to take the time to remember the soldiers who gave their lives for our country. Especially in our busy, hectic world, it is important to pause and reflect on the sacrifices made by current and past soliders who often go unthanked. And it is a time to celebrate their lives and their gift to us.

So however you celebrate Memorial Day, go forth and enjoy your parties, your barbecues, and your time with your family and friends. Enjoy some grilled food and some chilled brews, and enjoy the day off work. Because this is a tradition that connects us to the history of this country for over a hundred years – all the way back to those potluck picnics at graveyards in remembrance of our lost loved ones.