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What Does Memorial Day Mean For You?

Everyone celebrates our holidays for different reasons and in different ways.

We base our celebrations off prior traditions that our ancestors carried out, certain times in our lives that left a mark or our desire to honor someone or something significant.

And since Memorial Day is on the horizon, people will be coming at it from all sorts of angles.

On Memorial Day, which is celebrated on the last Monday in May, many will stop to honor the brave men and women who died defending and protecting our nation. It's day to visit and adorn the graves of soldiers who paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.  Some of these soldiers may even be family members.

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People often visit monuments dedicated to soldiers, sailors and marines, march in town parades and participate in a National Moment of Remembrance at 3 p.m. when you pause all activities for one minute.

But for others, Memorial Day means something else.

Like an anticipated, 3-day weekend we often take for granted. That extra day is a time to pull out the grill, gather with relatives for a backyard barbecue, take a sunny rest on the lake or partake in a classic dinner party. These fun festivities might be a way to remember those who lost their lives serving our country or celebrate a day off from work and other responsibilities.

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Maybe, it's a time to memorialize loved ones who passed away. For these people, Memorial Day is a time to visit the graves of those family members and friends who meant so much. It's a day to go to go to your deceased aunt's favorite restaurant, read letters/cards she sent over the years and call her family and friends to comfort them.

Perhaps, some don't celebrate Memorial Day at all because they never have or are required to show up for work.

No matter the traditions, there is no wrong way to celebrate Memorial Day. It's all perspective.

 

Sarah Francis is a half-Palestinian journalism junkie, a proud Charlotte, NC native with an oversized sweet tooth, and an active world traveler. Ask her where she's headed next. (@Sarah_Francis25)