Originally referred to as ?Decoration Day?, Memorial Day is a Federal Holiday set aside for remembering, honoring, and paying tribute to those men and women who died in service to our country. It?s a tradition that dates back to the Civil War era. It also marks the unofficial beginning of Summer. Memorial Day became an official Federal holiday in 1971 and is observed on the last Monday in May.

The kids are out of school and we get to enjoy a 3-day weekend packed with?parties, picnics, baseball games, boating, fishing and a multitude of other fun activities. The Indianapolis 500 (the largest single day sporting event in the world) has been held on Memorial Day since 1911 although they skipped a few years due to World War II. We are free to spend our time however we choose. That freedom isn?t free though, it?s been paid for with the lives of the courageous men and women of our armed forces. So while we look forward to the Memorial Day holiday, don?t forget to look back and remember the reason for this holiday.

I was doing just that when I saw an article about a commemoration of D-Day that took place on the beach at Normandy. Over 500 volunteers gathered and using rakes and stencils, etched the sand with the shape of a fallen soldier? 9,000 times, representing the casualties of Allied forces on D-Day. Hard to comprehend. And yet, we had the perseverance to not give up and go home. Definitely something to remember as we spend time enjoying our freedom this holiday weekend!

Have Fun. Be Safe. God Bless America.