Most of us love the three day weekends. Many of us know why we have the last Monday of every May off. There are many things associated with Memorial Day. White sales, auto racing, boating on the Missouri River for us in Bismarck and the French Open for tennis lovers.

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But the real reason for Memorial Day is a day to pay tribute to those men and women that have given the ultimate sacrifice for the freedom we all enjoy in the country. The origins of the holiday go back to1868. According to Fact Monster.com,  "Known as Decoration Day, the holiday was changed to Memorial Day within twenty years, becoming a holiday dedicated to the memory of all war dead. It became a federal holiday in 1971, and is now observed on the last Monday in May".

Other facts on Memorial Day according to Mental Floss.com

Memorial Day was a response to all of the dead from the Civil War, over 600,00 men died from both sides of the war. The massive lost of life led to communities throughout the country having commemorations of the dead.

For many years, it was long known as Decoration Day. Back then, the families would decorate graves with flowers, wreaths, and flags. The term, Memorial Day goes back to 1882. The old name would not disappear until after World War II. The government and federal holiday of "Memorial Day" was official 1967.

The very first celebration of the holiday was  in Waterloo, N.Y. They started the  annual day of recognition on May 5, 1866. It is Waterloo that many people say is the "birthplace of Memorial Day."

The American Flag customs on Memorial Day is to fly the flag at half staff until noon, and then raise it to the top of the staff until sunset.

There will be Bar B Ques, with this beautiful weather we have in Bismarck and North Dakota this weekend, many folks will go to the zoo or try to escape the 90 degree weather by taking in a movie or going to the mall. Let's not forget the real reason behind the day off from work or school. It's more than a day off, it's more than a Memorial Day sale.

It's a day we set aside to pay tribute to the many men and women that have lost their life's protecting and serving our country. To those families, on behalf of a grateful nation, we say THANK YOU!