Memorial Day is so Much More than a Weekend for Barbecues

Photo courtesy of EOD Warrior Foundation

Photo courtesy of EOD Warrior Foundation

Niceville, FL — As Memorial Day approaches, millions of people around the country will be planning weekend travel trips, backyard barbecues, and time on the water. While Memorial Day weekend is often seen as the official kick-off of summer, this day has a much more significant meaning. In fact, without those who serve in the military, ensuring our continued freedom, there’s a good chance that none of those enjoyable activities would be possible. May we never forget that Memorial Day is a day set aside to remember those who have died while serving.

“Our priority on Memorial Day should be to also remember those who have died in service making our freedom possible,” explains Nicole Motsek, executive director of the EOD Warrior Foundation. “Memorial Day is a great opportunity to teach our children about the sacrifice so many men and women have made for our country.”

Here are 5 important facts to keep in mind this Memorial Day:

  • Memorial Day is observed every year on the last Monday of May, and is intended to officially and publicly remember men and women who died while serving in the country’s armed forces.
  • There is a national moment of remembrance that takes place at 3 p.m. local time country wide.
  • Prior to being called Memorial Day, it was called Decoration Day, which was started three years after the Civil War ended. It was a day for decorating the graves of the fallen Civil War soldiers. Following WWI, it was expanded to include all those who had died in American wars.
  • In 1966, President Lyndon B. Johnson and Congress declared that the birthplace of Memorial Day was Waterloo, New York. It was there in 1866 that local veterans who had died in the Civil War were honored with a ceremony and observances. In 1971, Memorial Day was officially declared a national holiday.
  • The first large observance of Memorial Day was held at Arlington National Cemetery.

“There are things that people can easily do to honor our nation’s fallen on Memorial Day,” adds Motsek. “Adding in an observance is a great way to round out the holiday weekend. What a great way to show appreciation for those who have made the ultimate sacrifice, as well as for their families who have sacrificed so much.”

On Memorial Day here are some ideas for observance: visit cemeteries to decorate the gravesites of fallen military members with flowers and flags, visit military memorials, support a charity that remembers fallen warriors and provides ongoing support to their families, attend special events and ceremonies, wear a Memorial Day badge or flag pin.  If you wish, it is also appropriate to fly the flag at half-staff on Memorial Day from sunrise until noon only, then raised briskly to the top of the staff until sunset, in honor of the nation’s battle heroes.

The EOD Warrior Foundation has an EOD Memorial Wall, located at Eglin AFB in Florida that people can visit.

The EOD Warrior Foundation is an organization that helps the families of the 7,000 people in our military who are Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) technicians, and perform bomb disposal duties. The EOD Warrior Foundation helps this elite group by providing financial relief, therapeutic healing retreats, a scholarship program, care of the EOD Memorial Wall located at Eglin AFB, Fla. and more. Their work is supported by private donations and the generosity of those who support the organization.  To learn more about the EOD Warrior Foundation, or see their fundraising events calendar, visit their site at: www.eodwarriorfoundation.org.