Memorial Day is viewed as the unofficial start of summer. The “in-season” prices begin at summer resorts and many hold the first BBQ of the season this weekend. It is also the time were those who have died in the armed services are remembered by parades and services at local cemeteries. Many people also choose this time for personal remembrances.
Memorial Day was begun after the Civil War, when many communities, in the North and South, set aside days to honor their war dead. The first official Memorial Day was observed on May 30, 1868, when graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery were decorated with flowers. Initially known as Decoration Day, festivities were carried out on May 30. Under President Nixon, the holiday was changed to the last Monday of May, thereby giving an opportunity for a three-day weekend. To learn more about this holiday, go to Memorial Day History.
• Make some 5 pointed stars from a single sheet of paper and just one snip
• Figure out a fun BBQ menu. Looking for new recipes, try the food blogs for a change.
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• Since many of the old gravestones are in need of cleaning, and often no descendants are on hand to do it, learn how to clean them, and maybe enlist a friend or your neighbors to help. You’ll learn a lot of local history that way. Resources for cleaning stones include:
National Park Service: U.S. Department of the Interior-Website includes a number of videos, webinars and text on Cemetery Conservation, including headstone cleaning, righting stones and landscaping.