Memo­r­ial Day was orig­i­nally known as Dec­o­ra­tion Day.

After the Civil War, it was des­ig­nated as a time to dec­o­rate the graves of fallen sol­diers with flow­ers. By the 20th cen­tury, the day became known as Memo­r­ial Day and was extended to honor all Amer­i­cans who have died in mil­i­tary ser­vice.

As we com­mem­o­rate the coura­geous men and women who’ve paid the ulti­mate sac­ri­fice, let’s look for mind­ful ways to show our respect.

There are many mil­i­tary memo­ri­als, muse­ums, and mon­u­ments through­out the United States. As sum­mer vaca­tions and trips are writ­ten on the cal­en­dar, plan a visit to one of these extra­or­di­nary des­ti­na­tions.

Learn about our mil­i­tary his­tory and get an up-​close– and-​personal per­spec­tive of what our com­bat men and women expe­ri­enced. Pow­er­fully mov­ing, each memo­r­ial has a nar­ra­tive unique to time and place.

The Korean War Vet­er­ans Memo­r­ial, by exam­ple, fea­tures 19 fig­ures of men on patrol. All branches of ser­vice are rep­re­sented. A wall of black gran­ite runs along the sol­dier fig­ures and reflects their images. This turns nine­teen sol­diers into a group of thirty eight sol­diers.

Thirty eight is the num­ber of months Amer­i­cans fought in the war. The 38th par­al­lel is also where the war began and ended.

Juniper branches and gran­ite strips on the ground sym­bol­ize the rice pad­dies of Korea.

The bit­ter cold weather of Korea is sug­gested by the blow­ing pon­chos of the sol­diers. There is a Pool of Remem­brance, Honor Roll and Ded­i­ca­tion Stone. Mov­ing.

With each memo­r­ial, there is more of our his­tory being told. Tremen­dous loss of our fathers, moth­ers, sons, daugh­ters and neigh­bors is rep­re­sented. Ser­vice mem­bers, vet­er­ans and mil­i­tary fam­i­lies are keenly aware of Memo­r­ial Day obser­vances.

Parades, cer­e­monies and cel­e­bra­tions are part of the hol­i­day fes­tiv­i­ties. Sum­mer pic­nics, par­ties and bar­be­cues tra­di­tion­ally kick off on Memo­r­ial Day week­end. At least a por­tion of the hol­i­day should be reserved for mourn­ing the loss and hon­or­ing our fallen sol­diers.

No mat­ter what the date, the last Mon­day of May is the des­ig­nated hol­i­day. Before we fire up the grill and throw our­selves into sum­mer mind­sets, our col­lec­tive nation will pause for reflec­tion and obser­vance. Bring honor and respect to the Amer­i­can landscape.

To read the full Mar­ket Report, includ­ing this week’s mar­ket update, see below or click here.