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Memorial Day Weekend 2020...The Grand Reopening

It used to be such fun on the approach to a 3-day holiday weekend.  Especially when you could tack a day off on the front end, making Thursday a virtual Friday, and Wednesday feels like a virtual Tuesday.  Well, everyday pretty much feels like a virtual Tuesday now.

Memorial Day Weekend marked the unofficial start of summer.  This year it feels like the unofficial end of house arrest as America works through its grand reopening.

I used to mark this time of year by watching Rafael Nadal slide around the red clay of Roland Garros.  This year’s French Open slides back to September.   And the holiday weekend’s usual appearance of the Indy 500 now on track for August.

I guess I could look at the Tiger vs Phil golf match.  Oh yeah, and the Bucs new QB Brady, and that guy who does the Nationwide commercials with Brad Paisley, Peyton something.

But, like most holidays we’ve come to take for granted, there’s more to the story.  You probably know that Memorial Day honors those who lost their lives while serving in the military.  That’s about all I knew about the holiday.  Until I discovered some history.

Memorial Day was originally Decoration Day.  It dates back to the days following the Civil War in the late 1860’s, when towns decorated soldiers graves with flowers.  In 1966, the federal government declared Waterloo, New York as the official birthplace of Memorial Day.

In 1868, General John Logan, a leader of a group for Northern Civil War Vets called for a nationwide day of remembrance on May 30th.  That date lasted for decades, no matter the day of the week the holiday fell on.

In 1968 Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act so federal employees would get a three-day weekend.  It became a federal holiday in 1971.  

Whether you venture to the golf course or tennis courts, the pool, the beach, the barbecue or stay inside and relax this weekend, we know we can be content even if the holiday feels like another virtual Tuesday.

This Memorial Day,  I salute the ones who lost their lives protecting our country, from enemies visible and invisible. We remember and honor you all.