When I was growing up, I knew it was Memorial Day because my best friend Edyce's father, Mr. Barie would start the day very early, mind you, by blaring The Battle Hymn of the Republic, Taps, the Marine Hymn and once in a while the Ballad of the Green Berets! This was our cue to get our bikes and decorate them for the big neighborhood parade. We would jazz them up with streamers, flowers made of kleenex and my personal favorite, baseball cards attached with clothespins. They made that wonderful slap, slap, slap sound as the tires spun around. Then we'd all line up on our bikes with anyone else who had a talent, like my older sister, who was a world class baton twirler, and off we'd go on our parade, giving Macy's a run for their money! Soon, the aroma of charcoal would fill the air and we'd feast on potato salad, hot dogs, and hamburgers and all sorts of treats! Summer had officially begun! It's nice to see that some communities still celebrate this way!
Memorial Day is the day for us all to remember those who have died in service to our country. Did you know that Memorial Day was first celebrated on May 30, 1868 and was originally called Decoration Day because it was customary to decorate graves of the war dead with flowers. The original date of May 30th was selected because flowers would be in bloom all over the country by then and red poppies are the traditional Memorial Day flower. Now it's celebrated on the last Monday in May and is a reason to bring family and friends together.
In the midst of all of the hubub of picnics and parades, at 3:00 we will pause for a moment to listen to "Taps" and remember those who died for our freedoms. That's a good thing to pass down to our kids!
Tell us some of your favorite childhood memories and traditions of Memorial Days. Any traditions you have brought down to your own family? We would love to hear! Tell us in the comments below.