NEWS AND OPINION:
A thought to consider. Here’s what President Reagan advised in a Proclamation for Memorial Day, May 25, 1981.
“Over 100 years ago, Memorial Day was established to commemorate those who died in the defense of our national ideals. Our ideals of freedom, justice, and equal rights for all have been challenged many times since then, and thousands of Americans have given their lives in many parts of the world to secure those same ideals and insure for their children a lasting peace. Their sacrifice demands that we, the living, continue to promote the cause of peace and the ideals for which they so valiantly gave of themselves,” Reagan told the nation.
“Today, the United States stands as a beacon of liberty and democratic strength before the community of nations. We are resolved to stand firm against those who would destroy the freedoms we cherish. We are determined to achieve an enduring peace — a peace with liberty and with honor. This determination, this resolve, is the highest tribute we can pay to the many who have fallen in the service of our Nation,” Reagan said.
TRUMP’S MEMORIAL DAY, 2020
Let’s consider another proclamation, this one delivered by President Trump on May 25, 2020, at Fort McHenry in Baltimore.
“For as long as our flag flies in the sky above, the names of these fallen warriors will be woven into its threads. For as long as we have citizens willing to follow their example, to carry on their burden, to continue their legacy, then America’s cause will never fail and American freedom will never, ever die,” Mr. Trump said.
“Today, we honor the heroes we have lost. We pray for the loved ones they left behind. And with God as our witness, we solemnly vow to protect, preserve, and cherish this land they gave their last breath to defend and to defend so proudly. God bless our military. God bless the memory of the fallen. God bless our Gold Star families. And God bless America,” he concluded.
OUT OF TOWN OR HOME?
AAA predicts 39.2 million people will travel 50 miles or more from home this Memorial Day weekend, an increase of 8.3% over 2021.
“Based on our projections, summer travel isn’t just heating up, it will be on fire. People are overdue for a vacation and they are looking to catch up on some much-needed R&R in the coming months,” Paula Twidale, senior vice president of AAA Travel, said in a statement.
“Nearly 6 out of every 10 American adults say the activity they are most likely to take part in for Memorial Day or Memorial Day weekend is a BBQ or cookout. The 57% who said this account for more than 148 million people,” advises the Vacationer, an industry source that polled 1,030 U.S. adults online on May 1.
“The second most likely activity is the beach at 13%, which is about 35 million American adults. In third place, we have a lake activity at 9%, or 24 million people,” the organization said.
AND SOME HISTORY
“Memorial Day, initially referred to as Decoration Day, was observed by many communities after the Civil War, when the nation suffered more than 620,000 military deaths, roughly 2% of the total population at the time,” the National Archives remind us.
“John A. Logan, the commander-in-chief of the Grand Army of Republic, chose May 30, 1868, as a day to decorate the graves of Union troops across the nation. From this beginning, Memorial Day is now designated as an annual day of remembrance to honor all those who have died in service to the United States during peace and war,” the Archives advise.
For decades, Memorial Day continued to be observed on May 30, the date Logan had selected for the first Decoration Day.
But in 1968, Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act in 1968 which established Memorial Day as the final Monday in May to create a three-day weekend; the change went into effect in 1971. The law also declared Memorial Day as a federal holiday.
MEANWHILE: VOYAGES TO CONSIDER
Is a noteworthy journey in your future?
Atlas Obscura Trips promise to “nurture your curiosity and broaden your sense of wonder” via some voyages of note, which include a tour of “culinary Naples” complete with cooking lessons from a Neapolitan chef — or a chance to swim with the singing humpback whales of Tonga.
Also among the possibilities: Iceland in winter, exploring the “birthplace of tea” in China, strolling through the sacred granaries, casbahs and feasts of Morocco, or tracking wolves in Sweden.
Curious? Consult AtlasObscura.com — under the “trips” section of course. The site also publishes essays and stories, and identifies unusual places to consider around the planet.
DRINK DU JOUR
So maybe it’s time for cocktails? Town & Country Magazine has included this particular libation in its expansive collection of Memorial Day cocktails which they describe as “refreshing and easy to make.”
This one — the “Blackberry Mint Julep” — was invented by the Bay Kitchen Bar in East Hampton, New York.
The ingredients for one: 2 oz. of Bulleit Bourbon, a half-ounce of Chambord, a three-fourths ounce of fresh lime juice, a half-ounce of simple sugar syrup, 5 muddled or slightly crushed blackberries, and 6 fresh mint leaves.
Instructions: Mix all ingredients in a shaker and pour over crushed ice. Garnish with a sprig of mint and blackberry.
POLL DU JOUR
50% of U.S. adults say their lives will never return to normal because of the coronavirus pandemic.
4% say their lives will be disrupted for longer than a few more months.
6% say life will be disrupted for a few more months.
16% say their life will return to normal sometime next year.
21% say their life has already returned to normal.
SOURCE: A Gallup poll of 3,995 U.S. adults was conducted April 25-May 2 and released May 23.
• Have a productive Memorial Day, and thanks for reading Inside the Beltway.
• Jennifer Harper can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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