Take some time to honor vets this weekend

I hope you get Monday off for Memorial Day. If you do, don’t waste this three-day weekend. Get out and do something. Use it for what it’s designed for, but save some time for fishing.

If you get Monday off for Memorial Day, take some time to pay tribute to those who have died for our freedom. It’s a day that was originally called Decoration Day, way back at the end of the Civil War. It was celebrated on May 30, 1868, and that date was chosen intentionally because it was not the date of any particular battle.

Decoration Day started as a day to remember those lost in the Civil War, but during World War I, it evolved to be a day to remember all those lost in all wars. The surprising thing is that it wasn’t an official federal holiday until 1971, even though it’s been celebrated across the country for well over a century.

This weekend, and especially Monday, give some thought to those who have made the ultimate sacrifice. It’s been expanded to honor all those who have fought for our country, whether they were wounded or not. Our military personnel sacrifice a lot to protect our freedoms, and they deserve our thanks.

There are many ways to honor our veterans on Memorial Day. You can visit cemeteries and put flags on graves; worship at your church; attend memorial celebrations; or enjoy the freedoms those brave men and women fought for.

Many people go camping and fishing on this first unofficial weekend of the summer. The lakes and parks closer to larger towns will fill up pretty quickly, but you should be able to find a good spot. Or you can go a little farther out into the wilds, where you’re less likely to have any camping neighbors, if you prefer.

Enjoy the outdoors this weekend, and give some thought to those who made it possible.