Memorial Day Kicks Off Summer but Take a Moment before the Red Solo Cups

Memorial Day Kicks Off Summer but Take a Moment before the Red Solo Cups

When I made my calendar for this year, I did a lot of research.

It's not like calendars are that difficult to put together or really require the research but those of us that use them take them seriously. To start, we look at the different themes. Is it a mantra year? Inspirational quotes? Famous people or famous places or support a local artist? The pictures through the months, or weeks and days, are an emotive forecast, a type of call to action for the way we want our year to go. Are those images what you want to be looking at all year? After that, we thumb through the calendar or look on the back cover to see the layout. Is there room for notes, to write birthdays and appointments? Lastly, what holidays and notifications are they taking the time to denote in their pages? It's that last part that got me hung up when I was making my first annual calendar, the holidays.

Did you know that for most everyday, there are countless holidays and commemorations listed both nationally and internationally? Of course, it makes sense but when you start actually charting a course and picking your different days to have some cohesiveness in theme... well, you can understand how crazy it gets. And, for me, I happily got lost from day to day and week to week. The calendar finally got done. But, by the end of it, I'd developed quite the fascination with all these random holidays as well as a reawakened curiosity with the holidays which I was already familiar. And, that brings me back to Memorial Day.

We all know what Memorial Day means, suppose most of us even know that it falls on the last Monday of May. But, most of all, it signals the beginning of summer. Cue the country music, backyard BBQs, noodle wars in the swimming pool, "alligator trolling" (as my dad called waterskiing), summer reading lists, paddle boards and kayaks, et al. All of this is fun and fantastic but with my reawakened curiosity, I decided to read up a bit on Memorial Day and share it so as to honor the people who are meant to be celebrated.

Memorial Day was initially known as Decoration Day for the ritual of honoring the fallen by festooning headstones and gravesides with flowers, wreaths and flags. May 30, 1868 was the first time it was formally recognized, commemorating the Civil War soldiers that lost their lives in battle. Gen. John A. Logan of the Grand Army of the Republic established it in proclamation.

The national ceremony opened with James A. Garfield's words, speaking at Arlington National Cemetery:

We do not know one promise these men made, one pledge they gave, one word they spoke; but we do know they summed up and perfected, by one supreme act, the highest virtues of men and citizens. For love of country they accepted death, and thus resolved all doubts, and made immortal their patriotism and their virtue.

I can't think of a better way to bless these brave souls who lost their lives answering the call to service for our country. So, I'll leave it at that. Have fun this weekend, everyone. Raise a glass in good cheer, pop off a firework or two, have some laughs with family and friends. Kickoff summer right as you well should do but somewhere between the sunscreen and charcoal, take a minute to give a nod to the folks that this day represents. They may not be able to hear you or respond but it's the very least we can do to show some respect.

As always, thank you being the part of the WE in We Fancy and be safe out there this weekend!

Jennifer S. Levine

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