Memorial Day became a Federal Holiday in 1971 and is observed on the last Monday of May. It originated as Decoration Day after the American Civil War in 1868 to honor all the Americans who died in that conflict. Since WW I, it now honors all Americans who died in all wars. Many towns celebrate with parades and memorial ceremonies. Many families visit graves to lay wreaths on their loved ones’ graves. It is unofficially the start to summer and celebrated with BBQs and get togethers. On a recent vacation to the New Jersey shore, towns were proudly displaying their patriotism in red, white and blue. From quaint Victorians in Cape May to grand hotels like Congress Hall, from hometown fire halls to front porches and private gardens everywhere, patriotism was on full glorious display. Wherever you are celebrating the holiday, honor the brave men and women who have served and paid the ultimate price to fight for our country.