vvMemorial Day weekend is, to many people, the official start of the summer season.  It is a long weekend to spend grilling out and enjoying time with friends and family.  But Memorial Day is so much more.  Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is about coming together to honor those who gave their all in service to our nation.  Memorial Day was officially proclaimed on May 5, 1868 by General John Logan, the national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, and was first observed on May 30, 1868.  On that day flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery.  To help re-educate and remind Americans of the true meaning of Memorial Day, the “National Moment of Remembrance” resolution was passed on Dec 2000 which asks that at 3 p.m. local time, for all Americans “To voluntarily and informally observe in their own way a Moment of remembrance and respect, pausing from whatever they are doing for a moment of silence or listening to ‘Taps.”

As we remember let us also remember those that are currently serving.  Xerox Corporation sponsors a website called Let’s Say Thanks.  On this site you will find a variety of cards created by children from across the country.  You can download these cards to send on your own to a service member or if you do not know someone who has served or is currently serving and still want to say thanks you can send a card to a service person through this program.  Just choose a card design, add a pre-written note that expresses your sentiments or create a personal message and send the card.  The card will be printed by Xerox and packaged in a care package sent by the Give2TheTroops organization to a service member serving our country in Iraq, Afghanistan or Asia.  At the Let’s Say Thanks site you can also see notes received from service members that were touched by receiving these cards.  Please consider making this simple but meaningful act a part of your Memorial Day weekend.

Please watch this video about the Let’s Say Thanks program.  Have a Safe Memorial Day weekend!