Observing Memorial Day began after the Civil War to honor Union soldiers who gave their lives in the conflict. Originally called Decoration Day, it was named from the main activity of leaving flowers at cemeteries. After World War I, it became the day to pay tribute to all the fallen soldiers of all our nation's wars. It has evolved to mark the unofficial beginning of summer, and includes parades, barbecues and a chance to relax over the long weekend.
The Lempert Report conducted a Quick Poll during the lead-in to Memorial Day, asking what will be served this weekend. No single food item garnered as high as a 60 percent rate of mention. But the Top 5 items that were all named by a majority of respondents were: hamburgers (56 percent); beans, corn and mixed green salad (54 percent); and chicken (53 percent). Pricier foods such as ribs, steak, shrimp and fish logged in the 13th to 16th slots with 24 percent to 18 percent. Last on the list were veggie burgers, veggie dogs, tofu dogs and tofu burgers - suggesting that even staunch health enthusiasts can 'give it a rest' and carve out a place for other foods when the grill is hot.
Established by Congress in 2000, the White House Commission on Remembrance is an independent, non-partisan government agency that encourages Americans to honor the sacrifices of our fallen and their families. It promotes acts of remembrance throughout the year and asks citizens to pay our debt of gratitude in memory of those who died in service to our country by giving something back to the Nation. The Commission sponsors the National Moment of Remembrance, Public Law 106-579, which invites everyone to pause where they are at 3:00 p.m. on May 31 to honor fellow Americans who have sacrificed their lives for our freedom.