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Today is Memorial Day, and our office and warehouse will be closed. You may have placed orders over the weekend, but they will not be processed until Tuesday, May 28.
The last Monday in May is set aside to honor those who have fallen while serving in the U.S. military. (Please don’t confuse it with Veterans Day in November, which is a day to honor those who have served but did not die while in service.) All gave some; some gave all. Memorial Day is the day we honor those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for their country.
Memorial Day became a federal holiday in 1971, but its origin goes back to the Civil War, which claimed more lives than any other conflict in which the U.S. has participated. The Civil War officially ended in spring 1865, and the number of dead necessitated the creation of the first national cemeteries. Family members of the deceased began decorating the new graves, giving the day its first title of Decoration Day.
Originally, Memorial Day was observed on May 30. But in 1968 Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, which established Memorial Day as the last Monday in May in order to create a three-day weekend for federal employees. (So that’s why so many holidays are on Mondays!)
Each year on Memorial Day a national moment of remembrance takes place at 3 p.m. local time. Many ceremonies incorporate this remembrance into Memorial Day observances.
Parades, picnics, ceremonies at cemeteries, and other outdoor activities are traditional ways to celebrate. In Alaska, Memorial Day weekend is the time for outdoor planting. It’s good advice to wait until the end of May to plant a garden; even when there is an early spring, soil temperatures are not warm enough until the end of May.
If folks are outside, they usually are eating. Potlucks abound. Here’s an idea that’s been around a long time, but it seems like I see an American flag cake every year. Just take a box of cake mix, prepare according to the package directions, and bake in a 9” x 13” pan. When the cake has cooled, spread whipped cream over the top. Fill a square in the upper left of the cake with blueberries to represent the field of stars, then use sliced strawberries to make stripes like those on our flag. It’s a pretty presentation suitable for the holiday, and it’s quite tasty, too!
Whatever your plans, we hope you have a fantastic Memorial Day weekend.