The 2020 Memorial Day weekend is here. It is the unofficial beginning of summer, albeit a little bit different than past summers. It is a holiday for many that usually involves family picnics featuring hot dogs and hamburgers on the grill, the opening of swimming pools and being with family and friends. For most, that will not be happening this year due to the coronavirus crisis. Crisis or not, Memorial Day is still a day of remembrance.

In 2000, Congress passed the “National Moment of Remembrance” resolution which asks all Americans to “observe in their own way a moment of remembrance and respect, pausing (at 3 p.m. local time Monday) from whatever they are doing for a moment of silence or listening to 'Taps' for those who gave the ultimate sacrifice."

It seems that many Americans  confuse Memorial Day with Veteran's Day. On Memorial Day we honor those who died in service to their country and others who have passed away.  Veteran's Day in November is to thank those who are alive and served our country. Even the media has trouble recognizing the difference.

The history of Memorial Day is very interesting. There is evidence that the South is the birthplace of Memorial Day in that organized women’s groups in the South decorated graves before the end of the Civil War. Initially it was called "Decoration Day".

Memorial Day is the day to decorate a loved one’s grave site. I am so proud of my daughter and son-in-law who took my grandchildren to a local Peoria area cemetery and had them place American Flags on soldiers resting places. That's my grand-daughter Allison pictured above. It was a learning moment that she, and all children, need to experience.

Memorial Day is all about reconciliation. It is about coming together to honor those, military or civilian, who gave their all.  God bless their souls!

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