Many of us will be spending this three-day weekend celebrating with family and friends, flipping some burgers on the grill, and throwing back a few cold ones. But Memorial Day is so much more than a chance to kick off the summer months. But what is Memorial Day, exactly? Well, often confused with Veteran's Day, which honors all who have served in our Armed Forces, Memorial is a solemn occasion to pay tribute to all those who died in military service to their Nation. 

Memorial Day began a few years after the Civil War, in 1868 by an organization of Union veterans. Then known as Decoration Day, it was a day to decorate the graves of fallen soldiers with flowers. From then until the present day, the solemn holiday has been formally observed at Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, D.C. Memorial Day became an official federal holiday in 1971, taking place on the last Monday in May.  The National Moment of Remembrance Act encourages Americans to observe a moment of silence at 3 p.m. local time to remember those who have died in service. During the 3 p.m. moment of remembrance, Amtrak conductors sound one long whistle in honor of those who have died in service.

Another cool tidbit is the proper way in which to hoist the American flag on Memorial Day. According to the U.S. Flag Code: hoist the flag quickly up to full staff at sunrise, then lower to half-staff until noon, and then return to the top of the staff.

Who was the first state to observe Memorial Day? That would be New York.

Lastly, while it might be tempting to wish others a "Happy Memorial Day," remember that this is a deeply personal day for many who lost loved ones in the service. Instead, the phrase "I wish you a meaningful Memorial Day," is considered solemn and respectful. 

We here at J King Real Estate are a proud military family, and I hope you will join us this Memorial Day in honoring those who gave their lives for our freedom. GOD BLESS AMERICA!