While Memorial Day is often a day marked by grilling, spending time with family and celebration, it’s true meaning is a bit more somber. This national holiday honors all soldiers who have died while in service to the nation. In more recent years, we also honor all those in the United States military.
Before you hit the water and break out the sparklers, pause to remember the purpose of the day and the sacrifice of our U.S. Servicemen and women.
Why Do We Celebrate Memorial Day?
Originally known as Decoration Day, Memorial Day became a national holiday in 1971, but was celebrated as far back as 1865 in Charleston, South Carolina. A parade was held in honor of prisoners of war who died there, along with singing and picnicking.
Later, the tradition of decorating the graves of fallen soldiers with flags and flowers was born.
Pause to Remember the Purpose
Today we often celebrate with parades to honor our servicemen and women in addition to picnics, grilling and sparklers or fireworks in the evening, to name a few things. Flags should be flown at half-staff from sunrise until noon, then raised to the top of the staff until sunset.
Soldier’s graves are often decorated with American flags, and it’s the perfect opportunity to visit your loved one’s resting place to clean and decorate.
No matter how you’re celebrating today, we’ve rounded up our best tips to help keep safety top-of-mind.
Cooking out on the grill is almost synonymous with summer celebrations. While they help us make some great, tasty food, it’s important to be smart about how, when and where you grill. Our grilling safety guide can give you all the tips from where to place your grill to maintenance tips, and even what to do in an emergency.
Cookouts and food safety
If you’ve got the grill out, you’re likely cooking for a small crowd. With that comes fruit salad, pasta salad, desserts and more. Brush up on food prep tips, cooking temps for your food and even how long your food can be left out before you need to refrigerate.
Pool season is upon us with temperatures warming up. If you’ve already opened your pool for the season, take a moment to read our pool safety guide and make sure you’ve got a life ring on hand, for starters.
Whether you’re heading out camping for the first time or a seasoned tent-raiser, it’s always good to brush up on your knowledge. Check out our tips for keeping yourself, your food and your clothing dry, as well as how to avoid getting bitten up by mosquitoes.
Sparklers (and other fireworks) can burn hot -- as hot as 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit, in fact. While they seem harmless and are fun to wave around, that doesn’t mean they’re any less likely to burn you. Brush up on our sparkler safety tips, and keep a bucket of water nearby – before the fun begins.
Peace of Mind for Every Day of the Year
Want to test your Memorial Day knowledge? Take our quick 6-question quiz.
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