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We likely don’t have to tell you that we are less than 48 hours away from a long weekend. We’re guessing you know that Monday is Memorial Day and the unofficial start of summer, but we thought we all could use a refresher about the origin of the federal holiday. Not to be confused with Veteran’s Day, Memorial Day is celebrated on the last Monday of May and honors the military men and women who lost their lives in the line of duty.

The holiday once known as “Decoration Day” originated in the years after WWII. The term, “Memorial Day,” did not appear until 1971. Previously, Decoration Day or Memorial Day was celebrated on May 30, regardless of the day of the week. Then in 1968, the Uniform Holidays bill was passed as a part of a move to use federal holidays to create 3-day weekends.

Each Memorial Day, the US flag is flown at half-mast from dawn until noon and volunteers around the country place flags on every gravestone in national cemeteries. A national moment of remembrance also takes place at 3 pm local time.

While last year was very much out of the ordinary, people typically celebrate with picnics, sporting events and family gatherings. As more and more Americans become fully vaccinated, we are again seeing calendars fill up with these activities again in 2021.

This Memorial Day, while you and your family are enjoying your cookouts and reunited time together, we hope that you’ll remember the origin of the federal holiday. Make it a point to keep the brave Americans who gave their lives to protect our freedom on your mind all day long.

The Lions Pride Board and Staff would like to offer a special “thank you” to all of the courageous men and women who gave the ultimate sacrifice.

Our office will be closed on Monday, but we will be back on Tuesday, June 1. We wish you all a safe and enjoyable Memorial Day weekend!