The Mountain Times

°F Wed, April 16, 2014

Central Vermont's Most Popular Weekly Newspaper

Memorial Day, the unofficial start to summer

Beyond parties, white clothes and a day off of work, Memorial Day is a time to remember the men and women who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces. Memorial Day is observed as a federal holiday each year on the last Monday of May.

One of the many observances on Memorial Day is the symbolic raising of the flag. It is raised briskly to the top of the staff and then solemnly lowered to the half-staff position, where it remains only until 12-noon, then it is raised to full-staff for the remainder of the day. The half-staff position remembers the more than one million men and women who gave their lives in service of our country. At noon, their memory is symbolically raised by the living, who resolve not to let their sacrifice be in vain, but to rise up in their stead and continue the fight for liberty and justice for all.

As a federal holiday, many people enjoy the day off of work. Many families have traditions of heading to the beach, picnicking or spending time with family. Perhaps this is why Memorial Day has also become known as the "unofficial start to summer."

There are approximately 100 days between Memorial Day and Labor Day, bracketing the summer season. So there is little time to waste! The sun will be out and so should your white pants, shorts, skirts, dresses and open-toed shoes. While rules of summer etiquette aren't as strict as in years past, many people (and businesses) still adhere, with dedication, to proper etiquette.

So this weekend, enjoy the extra day in the sun donning simpler summer styles, and be thankful to your predecessors who fought for liberty.