What does Memorial Day mean to you? For so many of us, it means a long weekend, picnics and barbecues, big sales and pool openings. The beginning of summer fun.
Memorial Day used to be a solemn day of remembrance honoring those who paid the ultimate price for our freedoms. Businesses closed for the day. Towns held parades that ended at the cemetery, where speeches were made and prayers offered. People took the time that day to clean and decorate with flowers and flags the graves of those who died in service to their country.
The observance began as Decoration Day, first observed on May 30, 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery. After World War II it evolved to commemorate American military personnel who died in all conflicts.
Some think of the day as a time to recognize and pay tribute to all men and women who have served in the military, and it is very noble to honor them (Please see “I did my part”.) But those veterans would be the first to remind us that Memorial Day is a day of remembrance for the fallen – the friends and comrades that they served beside who gave their lives.
At Bo-Ty Florist, we will be closed for the holiday, and we will enjoy our time off and our activities that go with it. But we will try to pause to acknoledge the importance of the day, and to cherish the memory of those whose lives must be remembered.
Many of us may not have known someone who made the ultimate sacrifice, but we all know the freedoms and privileges for which we owe a debt of gratitude to those valiant men and women.
Take time, this holiday weekend, to reflect on the true meaning of the day. We cannot pay the debt, but we can honor our duty to never forget.