It's always nice to have a long weekend. Extra time with our families, shopping Memorial Day sales and weekend barbecues have all been favorite Memorial Day activities. The true meaning of the federal holiday is to honor those who have died for our country in military service. The holiday, which is observed every year on the last Monday of May, was formerly known as Decoration Day and originated after the American Civil War to commemorate the Union and Confederate soldiers who died in the war. By the 20th century, Memorial Day had been extended to honor all Americans who died while in the military service. It typically marks the start of the summer vacation season, while Labor Day marks its end.
We must acknowledge the bravery and determination it takes for those who serve and to step into harm's way on sometimes a daily basis. To be away from their families and familiar comforts is a way of life while being in the service. It takes a special person and special families to make these sacrifices. We honor that sacrifice, thank them and remember those who died.
Here is a link to some excellent charities to help veterans and their families. Since we LOVE dogs, we especially like the Puppies Behind Bars program which helps prison inmates train loving and competent service dogs for wounded veterans.