We salute you! On Monday, May 30 we will celebrate Memorial Day, when we honor military personnel who have died in the service of their country.

It was originally called Decoration Day, stemming from the fact that graves of those who had died were decorated as a form of honor. It began following the Civil War, with the earliest tribute happening in Charleston, South Carolina, a month after the Confederacy surrendered in 1865.

On May 5, 1868, Gen. John Logan organized people to decorate graves of those who had fallen. It was declared that May 30 would be the official date and on that first Decoration Day, Gen. James Garfield addressed the assemblage at Arlington National Cemetery.

In 1966, the government declared Waterloo, New York, as the official birthplace of the holiday and in 1971 Decoration Day became known as Memorial Day. It was also to be celebrated on the last Monday in Ma, which is why the date is not officially May 30 and is an official federal holiday, with banks and government agencies closed.

Today’s celebration of the day differs from town to town, but Riverside conducts a large ceremony, which since 2009 has been arranged by Tom Sisulak. What was a small gathering at Guthrie Park has now grown to be a larger ceremony at the Parish Center at St. Mary Church. 

Memorial Day has also become known as the official start of summer, even though the weather doesn’t always cooperate. Pools will open and if you have passed Riverside Swim Club you can see the chairs are out and ready to welcome staff and swimmers. 

Also, and I don’t know if you prescribe to this, it means you can now officially begin wearing white — white shoes, white slacks, white accessories.  Somehow I know it no longer holds true, but I still don’t wear the white slacks before Memorial Day. Old habits die hard.

Light up your cookers, get out the favorite rib recipe and summertime side dishes to get into easy summer eating.

What I would like all to do is to fly the American flag. It doesn’t have to be a big one just one to signify how you appreciate what we have and how we honor those who have given so much.

We salute them.