When I think of Memorial Day, I think of the beach, a day off of work, and maybe some fireworks. However, there are some interesting things about this holiday that I learned recently. It goes without saying that the true meaning of Memorial Day is to honor those who served in the armed forces, those who have given their lives and those that have protected our freedom. But there are some fun facts about the holiday too that I think it is important to point out just to maintain some balance between the somber and fun tones of this special weekend.
Memorial Day always falls on the last Monday of May – every year. However, I find myself every year asking, “What day is Memorial Day this year?” as if it’s a difficult question. It is also known as “Decoration Day,” although this moniker for the holiday has gone out of use of late. The name “Decoration Day” came not from party decorations, but from the medals that decorate our soldiers. True veterans and families of the armed forces are really the only people who still refer to the holiday as “Decoration Day.”
One thing that many Americans do over Memorial Day weekend is travel – to the beach, the mountains, In fact, according to Boston.Com, over 30 million Americans travel somewhere over Memorial Day weekend. That is about 10% of the population which is pretty amazing. (I know that as soon as I am done writing this article I will be packing to head to the shore!)
For those who don’t travel to not so far away destinations, BBQ is on the menu. The three biggest days for BBQ in the United States are Memorial Day, Fourth of July and Labor Day (according to the Hearth, Patio and BBQ Association.) Whether it’s hot dogs, burgers, or chicken – you can be sure something will be cooking from coast to coast.
Finally, what would any good holiday be without music? There are many songs that are close to our hearts for Christmas and weddings – but the same can be said for the kick-off to summer. According to TasteofCountry.com, one of the most popular songs to be performed (or just blasted on ITunes) on Memorial Day is “God Bless the USA” by .Lee Greenwood.
So, wherever you’ll be spending the holiday weekend, make it a good time with some good food, good company, and good music. And you can impress your friends and family with the few pieces of trivia you have read here this fine day. With some luck, the sun will be shining and the breeze will be semi-tropical this holiday weekend. Enjoy!