When most people think about their Memorial Day plans, that Monday afternoon is usually filled with barbecued meat, a few cold ones, and good friends gathered together. Memorial Day is the unofficial kickoff to summer and people spend more time roasting weenies than actually recalling how this sober holiday came about. Memorial Day got its start during the Civil War and was first called Decoration Day when Southern ladies laid flags and flowers on the graves of Confederate soldiers. The very first official Decoration Day was observed in 1868. Memorial Day has evolved over the years and is now observed on the last Monday in May, but it encompasses the deceased from all major wars, not just the Civil War. So, this year, take a moment on Memorial Day Monday to reflect on those who have served and died for our freedom. Hang your American flag with pride. Wear a flag silicone bracelet to show your spirit. If you spot a soldier in uniform, thank him or her for the service given to this country. And remember, you are free to eat your hot dog under the American flag because of those who left their souls on the battlefields around the world.