Make this Memorial Day Weekend Safe and Memorable

Memorial Day Weekend is the unofficial kickoff of summer, with thousands of Americans taking the opportunity to travel for the long weekend. Whether you are going to a barbecue across town, or you are moving into your new home over the holiday, it's important to make safety a top priority. AAA notes that more than 37.2 million Americans will be traveling over the Memorial Day holiday, which is the highest number of travelers predicted over this holiday weekend since 2005. The surge in car travel is a direct result of the lower fuel costs. Currently, the national average cost for a gallon of gas is $2.66 — a $1.00 decrease from this same time last year! 

While this is great news for drivers and travelers, it does mean that there will be more traffic on the road as you head out to your destination. Drive slow, and remain vigilant. Try not to get frustrated, and avoid any road rage incidents. Make sure all passengers are wearing their seat belts, and ensure that all children in the car are in the proper car seat. It's better to get there safely rather than quickly — so pack your patience along for the ride this Memorial Day Weekend.

Memorial Day is a federal holiday that is celebrated every year on the fourth Monday in May. While it's become a day of barbecues, parades and splashing in the water, it's important to remember the reason for this somber holiday. So many of our soldiers fought and died for our freedom, and we celebrate the lives that have been lost and the sacrifices that have been made in order to keep our nation free and strong.

Facts You Should Remember on Memorial Day

  • Memorial Day was first declared a holiday to honor soldiers who died while fight in the Civil War. 
  • When it was established, it was originally referred to as Decoration Day. On Decoration Day, the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers were decorated with flowers in order to remember and honor them.
  • Legally, American citizens are supposed to pause for a moment of remembrance on Memorial Day. The official moment of remembrance is at 3:00 p.m. on Memorial Day. 
  • Memorial Day was always celebrated on May 30 until 1971, when it was changed to be the last Monday in May in order to guarantee a long weekend for citizens and workers. Originally, May 30 was chosen for Memorial Day because that was when most of the flowers across the country were in bloom, making it a practical date to decorate the graves of soldiers who gave their lives during wartime. 

Things You Can Do to Commemorate the Holiday

  • Visit a National Cemetery in order to pay respect to the fallen soldiers who rest there. You can bring flowers along to place on the graves. You may want to bring a special wreath or bouquet for a loved one who has passed and who served in the military. While you are the cemetery, take some quiet time to reflect on the sacrifice of the soldiers and understand the magnitude of their service.
  • Create cards to say thank you to soldiers who are currently in the military. Contact your local veteran's association in order to get contact information for soldiers who are serving and also for veterans in your area. Your entire family can come together to create cards and write thank-you notes for these service members, who are sure to appreciate your kindness on Memorial Day.
  • Attend a Memorial Day parade, and wear your red, white and blue proudly. If you are bringing children to the parade, explain to them why you are going to this festive event and teach them about the importance of this holiday. 
  • Spend time at your barbecue sharing stories about friends and family members who served in the military. This is a wonderful time to talk about those old war stories that your grandfather used to tell, or to share a tale about a young woman from your area who is currently serving overseas. By talking about the work that our soldiers do, you will be reminding everyone around you of the sacrifices that have been made in order for us to enjoy our freedom. It's an easy way to make sure the purpose of this holiday is not forgotten amidst the summer fun.

Happy Memorial Day Weekend from your Remax Realtor Cathy Carter!

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