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Celebrating Memorial Day

May 18, 2016

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Did you know that the First
Official Memorial Day
 took place 148 years ago?
This historical ceremony occurred
 at Arlington National Cemetery
on May 30, 1868.

As time goes by, most of us (including myself) tend to forget why certain federal holidays are celebrated -- so let’s review. Memorial Day is always observed on the last Monday in May. Back in the day, it started as an event to honor the Union soldiers who had died during the American Civil War.

After World War One, it was extended to include all men and women who died in any war or military service in the United States. On this day, it is traditional to fly the American flag at half-staff (mast) from dawn until noon. We also put mini versions of the flag in appetizers, drinks and desserts to add a colorful, celebratory twist to everything.

HOW DO WE CELEBRATE?

Since Memorial Day is a federal holiday, all nonessential government offices are closed, as are schools, businesses and other organizations. This day has become less of an occasion of remembrance. Many people choose to hold picnics, visit with friends and hold family gatherings. Or they see the weekend as an opportunity to go on a short three-or-four-day vacation.

WHAT DO WE WEAR?

This weekend is, to most of us, when summer kicks off. If the weather is good we put away puffy jackets, clunky boots and long scarves. Out come slip-on sandals, cotton blouses and glam sunglasses.

And, of course, we ignore that old chestnut: only wear white from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Coco Chanel made her views known on that subject when she wore white year-round. The White Rule was created over 100 years ago – it’s time to bury it once and for all.

WHAT DO WE EAT?

Why is it that food always seems to taste better when eaten outdoors? Whether it’s a hot dog and soda at the beach or an elegant dinner on a outdoor terrace – the magic is always there. I remember eating breakfast every morning at a small table outside a tiny little restaurant on the island of Jamaica. It was nothing special, but we really enjoyed the idea of breakfast outside.

WHAT MAKES A PICNIC SPECIAL?

Memorial Weekend is a time for picnics so I went searching on the web and came up with superb creative projects from Martha Stewart. She is simply brimming over with great ideas for displaying the American flag to red-white-and-blue table decorations here on her website.

I decided to focus on picnic delicacies and Martha doesn’t disappoint. Here you’ll find great recipes for all the traditional picnic fare: potato salad, tuna sandwiches, old-fashioned lemon sugar cookies, fried chicken, buttermilk biscuits, fudgy brownies and more.

Take a look. These are not-to-be-missed goodies. Delicious eats for you and yours are straight ahead.

MAY WE SUGGEST…

The fastest way to refresh your summer wardrobe with new T-shirts is by clicking on a couple of computer keys. What could be easier?

By Shaun Nelson-Henrick   



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