(Image Credit: Shutterstock.com)
What once began as an American holiday lasting a single day, Memorial Day has now evolved into a weekend celebration often marking the beginning of Summer (as much as its intended purpose). Beginning as Decoration Day in 1868, May 30th was designated as day of remembrance to honor those who died in the Civil War by decorating their graves.
Over time, Decoration Day evolved into Memorial Day. During World War I, the holiday expanded to honor American military members who died in all wars, not just the Civil War. In 1971, following the passage of the Uniform Monday Holiday Act by Congress, Memorial Day became a federal holiday creating a 3-day weekend.
3 Things to Remember for your Memorial Day Weekend
While we enjoy the extended, holiday weekend, there are a number of things we should reflect upon and remember:
- First and foremost, we should take time to remember the true purpose of Memorial Day - the men and women who died serving our country and protecting the many freedoms that we can too often take for granted.
- As we embrace the true spirit of the holiday and celebrate our freedom, we should remember to take a moment to be grateful for the family and friends that we have to share it with.
- Knowing in advance that many of our celebrations will involve alcohol consumption, we should plan ahead. If you will be celebrating at the home of a family or friend, make arrangements to stay where you are when the party ends. If this is not an option, plan ahead and designate a sober driver. You don't need to get a DUI to have a weekend to remember.