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Memorial Day: “A Day To Remember”

29 May on Gifts, Hoodies   Tags: , , , , , ,

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In the patriotic song, "God Bless The USA", one of the most poignant lyrics is "...I won't forget the men who died who gave that right to me." This sentiment is what Memorial Day is all about. But it's not just about remembering those who lost their lives defending the freedom of America, it's also about remembering the veterans who are alive today, who have survived, who have a legacy to pass on. More veterans today end their own lives than those lost in combat, and that's something sobering; something everyone should consider.

All that dire consideration aside, Memorial Day should be celebratory, and the more you make of it, the more you'll help. Make it a point to remember the veterans in your family and neighborhood who have put their lives on the line for your security. They need to know their value, and what better time than this most special of days?

The holiday is federal, and comes every year on the last Monday in May. For those unfamiliar, it's interesting to note that this holiday began shortly after the Civil War ended, back in 1868. In those days it was called Decoration Day. Founded in Decatur, Illinois, the original idea was for people to decorate graves of the lost with things like flowers. It's important to understand that both the confederate and union veterans had their own days of celebration. These remained in contest with one another until, by the 20th century, they had merged together, creating the holiday we're familiar with contemporarily.

Even if you don't have a loved one who has died in a conflict, it makes sense to visit a cemetery where defenders of freedom have sacrificed their lives for the country. In national cemeteries, volunteers are in the practice of placing American flags on each grave, and this is a somber, compelling sight. With the sadness is a joy, for the sacrifices of our fathers have not been in vain.

It's good to start the day with this thoughtful, considerate approach, and then expand into a more celebratory air after the fact. In many places, there will be a sort of decoration ceremony replete with flags and flowers, followed by an outdoor picnic of some kind. Sometimes there's a real "potluck" vibe. Oftentimes a sermon accompanies this Summer's eve celebration, and the day has come to act as a transition point between academic months and Summer's warm embrace.

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One thing to keep in mind is that the holiday isn't solely for veterans. That's what Veteran's Day is all about. While soldiers are the primary people to be recalled, there are also many nurses and support personnel who have lost themselves in the struggle for freedom. Decoration Day, as it emanated from the Civil War, was definitely concerned with remembering more than only the soldiers who lost their lives. The entire country was upset in that disastrous conflict. Acts of heroism and terror happened on either side of the Civil War's territories, and were performed by men and women, civilian and soldier, slave and free. This holiday isn't just about remembering veterans, it's about remembering everyone involved in the titanic conflicts that have brought America into her current state of liberation.

So when you attend a memorial service this year, or take advantage of the extended weekend for a long camping venture, or an extended music festival, take the time to remember why the day is so important. Consider those who've lost their lives for yours, and then celebrate in a way fit to commemorate them!

Fireworks, streamers, and the giving of gifts are great ways to spread this sentiment. If you've got loved ones in your family that are younger and don't quite understand the ins and outs of this special holiday, they just see it as a weird extended weekend before school's out, perhaps purchase them some USA t-shirts with interesting designs and pertinent information on them. USA t-shirts are a great, simple, stylish way to show patriotism, and are perfectly matched with the holiday.

There are many unique gifts you can find to spice up your celebration of this holiday in 2016, and being more conscientious about buying gifts is a sure way to impart the proper attitude toward the next generation. You can tailor your purchases by state. Each state has different stories pertaining to celebrations on this most special of federal holidays. If you're in Minnesota, get some Minnesota gifts specific to your community. America is a patchwork quilt of individuality. Different states sometimes really are as disparate as other countries, and this special holiday is a great way to remember the heritage which brings us all together. So be sure to celebrate this year's day of remembrance with intentionality. It will mean more, and be more fun, for everyone.

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