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Memorial Day More Than a Grilling Holiday

Sammie Barilla
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Memorial Day More Than Just A Grilling Holiday

For many, Memorial Day is a time to relax and have a cookout, however, it’s important to remember why you really have the day off.

Memorial Day is more than a burger or hot dog on the grill. On this day we celebrate our service men and women who are currently serving, veterans who have served our country, and most of all, those who gave the ultimate sacrifice to defend our freedoms.  We honor the fallen so that their courageous actions to protect our country are never forgotten.

Memorial Day was first observed in 1868 to honor soldiers who had passed during the Civil War. It was a day to decorate the graves of both Union and Confederate soldiers. However, it didn’t become an officially recognized holiday until after World War I.

Enjoy the day off with your family, but don’t forget to take the time to honor those who lost their lives so you could continue to enjoy yours. There is a multitude of things you can do today to show appreciation for those who gave it all.

So besides the annual cookout how can you celebrate Memorial Day?

  • Attend a local ceremony with your family: Many towns and cities hold ceremonies in the morning to honor the fallen and those currently serving our country. At the Heinz History Center from 12 pm - 12:30 pm, join local veterans to take part in the folding of their 36-foot American Flag. For more info check out
  • Visit your local cemetery: Pay respects to the many soldiers and service members who have passed in combat. Many also decorate the graves of the fallen with flowers and American flags, so feel free to bring those items with your family. Join the wonderful community of Lawrenceville at the Allegheny Cemetery from 10 am - 3 pm as they remember the fallen and honor those who served our nation. The 111th annual Memorial Day Parade will begin at 36th Street at 10 am and make its way down to Butler Street to Allegheny Cemetery for military service. Free activities to follow!
  • Give back to your local veterans: Whether it be through charity work or sending them notes of appreciation, there are a a variety of ways you can give back to the veterans in your community
  • Fly your American flag at half staff until noon: This honors our nation’s soldiers and veterans, just remember to raise it to full staff once it’s past noon.
  • Buy a poppy: You’ve probably seen a collection table at your local grocery store or other retail areas that hand out “poppies” in exchange for a donation of any amount. Every time you donate, the funds directly benefit disabled and disadvantaged veterans in VA hospitals. 

Remember those who gave all for you to enjoy the day and don’t forget to thank your local veterans for their service to our country. Never stop remembering those who lost their lives protecting your freedom.


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