Memorial Day is this Sunday, May 30th. With a little patriotic spirit we introduced the Stars and Stripes Cookie Gift Box (see below) and for every box sold, we will donate $1 towards the Santa Cruz County Veterans Center.
Although we Americans tend to celebrate Memorial Day these days with great shopping deals, beach trips, and barbecues, the significance of this day runs far deeper than the superficial media-run holiday it has become. So I thought I’d put together a few fun facts to enlighten you on the purpose of this day, and the significance it has, or at least SHOULD have, for the American people…
As I’m sure you’re all aware, Memorial Day is a celebration of those who have, and continue to fight for our country– the men and women who have fought for our freedom and democracy since the American Civil War that ended in 1865. The traditional day of honoring this holiday was on May 30th, either because it was NOT the day of any battle, or because flowers would be in bloom all over the country. Either way, the first celebration took place on May 30th, 1868, and was known as “Decoration Day” – a day that the people of America could, with beautiful flowers (namely the red poppy), decorate the graves of those soldiers who gave their lives in war. Businesses closed, and residents flew their flags at half staff. Even today, flags will be flown at half staff until noon to honor the deaths of each soldier; after noon, those same flags are to be raised to full staff to commemorate those soldiers who are still with us.
Whether you pop a cold one and watch the Indy 500 with family, or take to the outdoors for a hike over your 3-day weekend, take a moment during the day to reflect on the real reason for Memorial Day. Your chance to do so will happen at 3 p.m., when our nation is called upon to take a moment of silence for the brave men and women who have fought to uphold our freedoms.
The National Moment of Remembrance was signed into Congress in December 2000 to “encourage the people of the United States to give something back to their country, which provides them so much freedom and opportunity” (see http://www1.va.gov/opa/speceven/memday/history.asp). So take it upon yourself to recognize this time – turn off the T.V., put down the video game controls, pause your game of tag football, and close your eyes, put your hand over your heart, and thank our brave soldiers for the sacrifices they have made.
This is our history. Be proud. Show your American spirit. I hope you all have a fun and safe Memorial Weekend. I know I will! 🙂