http://www.atlanticcityweekly.com/news-and-views/whitneys-radar/Memorial-Days-True-Meaning-122608829.html Memorial Day is a day of remembrance for those who have died serving our country. According to the Web site usmemorialday.org, this day was officially proclaimed in May 1868, but it wasn’t until 1971 that Congress ensured we had a three-day weekend by recognizing the last Monday in May as Memorial Day.
Did you ever wonder why people wear red poppies on Memorial Day? A woman by the name of Moina Michael conceived this idea after being inspired by the famous poem “In Flanders Fields.” She replied to it with her own saying:
“We cherish too, the Poppy red
That grows on fields where valor led
It seems to signal to the skies
That blood of heroes never dies.”
Her tradition became so popular that other countries began doing the same. Since 1922 the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) organized the first nationwide distribution of these poppies. Soon after that the poppy was adopted as the official memorial flower of the U.S. V.F.W.
For centuries we have endured the physical and emotional pains of war and we all know someone who has served our country. Having this extra day off of work is meant to pay your respects and remember those who fought for the freedoms we have today. However as time goes on, as with anything, we tend to lose sight of our focus and before we know it we are planning barbecues, beach excursions, and other fun family activities — and losing sight of the true meaning of the day. But in essence we are embracing the meaning by taking time to bond with our families and friends, and celebrating the freedom that others have given their lives for.
There is a National Moment of Remembrance that asks for us to pause for a moment at 3pm, to remember those who have fallen and to never forget that because of the actions of others, we live in a free country. And no matter which town you live in, there will be a service you can attend, typically at a Veterans park. Many services are posted right here at the acweekly.com event calendar.
I polled some people on what Memorial Day weekend means to them, and I loved the honesty in the answers.
Anthony Ortiz philosophically pointed out that, “If the human race wants to survive its own destruction, we must shift from the ‘art of war’ to the ‘art of collaboration’ paradigm.”
Nick Rifice stated honestly that, “It’s the start of the season at the cove. Kids in the sand, barbecue, food, family and fun on the portable picnic trailer.”
Emily Weiner frankly stated, “For me, it means a day off of work!”
Charles Roebuck says with pride, “Memorial Day means respecting and honoring our U.S. Armed Forces!”
So the bottom line is that no matter what your feeling is for this three-day weekend, just take one small moment to remember our fallen heroes, and make sure to live your life and embrace your loved ones because, as we all know, life is way too short.
And speaking of life being short, I just have to reiterate how important our loved ones are to us. Many times life goes by and we don’t follow up with opportunities, we don’t visit people we care about in the hospital, we don’t go to family gatherings because we have other plans. Sometimes our priorities are not where they should be, and unfortunately that can cause us to have regrets. Don’t take life for granted — live each day as if it were your last. As Abraham Lincoln said, “And in the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.”
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Starting Monday, May 30, make sure to head on out to Galloway Township for the annual ShopRite LPGA Classic, held at Seaview - A Dolce Resort, 401 S. New York Rd. This week-long event ending June 5 will bring the best women golfers in the world to the Jersey shore. Tickets vary from $15 for a daily pass, $30 for a weekly pass and $60 for a clubhouse pass. A number of the top international stars will join in with the professionals for this tournament, so it will surely make for a fun unique experience had by everyone.
On Sunday, May 29, Natali Vineyards in Cape May Courthouse will host its annual Blues and BBQ Wine Festival. Bring your own lawn chair or reserve a table. The festivities are from 10am-5pm and it’s free.
Later Sunday, Temple Beth El in Margate will host a concert by the Black Magic Swing Band starting 6:30pm. They play the best of the big-band era, and for the $20 ticket price you’ll also get coffee, cake and dancing.
As a freelance writer, Whitney's columns were published in multiple press outlets including: GoJaneNews.com The Atlantic City Weekly New Jersey Lifestyle Magazine & The Boardwalk Journal just to name a few.
She is the former host of the Entertainment Minute which aired on the NBC40 News and was featured twice on FOX's Chasing New Jersey.