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Memorial Day, previously known as Decoration Day, originated in the years following the Civil War, as a day dedicated to the remembrance of U.S. military personnel who died while serving in the United States armed forces. The name Decoration Day was coined from the early tradition of decorating graves with flowers, wreaths, and flags. Congress recognized Decoration Day as a federal holiday in 1938, but it was not until 1967 that the federal government officially adopted the name Memorial Day. In 1971 through the passing of the Uniform Monday Holiday Act it was deemed that this official federal holiday was to be observed on the last Monday of May, annually. Traditionally Memorial Day is viewed as a time of honor and remembrance. Unofficially, Memorial Day marks the beginning of the summer season, and this year it falls on May 30, 2022.

Summer Has Arrived!

This holiday brings the realization that school is nearing its end, and the excitement and possibilities for the summer months begins to set in. For many Memorial Day has become synonymous with the start of summer, barbecues, family time, fun travels, and beach days. To make the most of the summer, carve out time with your family on Memorial Day to figure out what a healthy, happy summer looks like and how to make it happen. This can be accomplished in a variety of ways. To help get you started, consider the following suggestions: 

  • Have a meeting: Try calling a family meeting to allow each member to share their hopes, dreams, and goals for the summer. 
  • Get on the same page: Understanding where each family member is coming from regarding the summer can help the family unit co-create a plan that honors each member’s wishes. 
  • Look at a calendar: Mapping out the summer as a family can help ensure balanced time is allocated to developing a summer plan that nurtures each individual family member as well as the entire family unit.
  • Manage expectations: It may not be possible to accommodate everyone’s wants, planning and being transparent and upfront with the family can help to manage expectations.

Memorial Day can set the tone for the rest of the summer. Many Americans commemorate Memorial Day by visiting cemeteries or memorials, holding family gatherings, and participating in parades. Take advantage of Memorial Day by paying your respects, enjoying quality time with your family, and welcoming in the summer season with intention. 

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