Memorial Day

Since Memorial Day is this weekend, we thought we would go into the history behind it. Memorial Day for many is signifying the beginning of summer, unofficially, and break out that barbecue. It’s the time when cookouts begin and gathering of family and friends start for the season.

Now I’m writing this while in quarantine during the pandemic of Coronavirus. Some states like Florida and Georgia have opened up, or are in phase 1. Here too in the southern tier of NY. However that really doesn’t mean get togethers should be happening. It’s frustrating for sure but we rather be safe than sorry. We already lost friends and neighbors to Coronavirus. I’ve had many friends who have lost loved ones as well. Since my family is immune compromised, we plan on staying in quarantine as long as possible. Only time we leave the house is to the grocery store and pharmacy with masks on and sanitizer to be used.

Anyway back to the point of Memorial Day. Memorial Day is the remember those that served in war and sacrificed their lives. From the U.S Army, Marines, Airforce, Coast guard and all the guards (National, army, airforce). It is a US national holiday always celebrated on the last Monday of May. Millions of lives were lost since the revolutionary war (far more before that if we are speaking about history as a whole). The earliest celebration of Memorial Day was in 1865 when the Civil War was over and the Union Army overtook the Confederacy army. From then on small towns began to celebrate (or pay respect) by visiting the cemeteries of the fallen, placing flowers and reciting prayers. There are stories that the first celebration had begun in Charleston South Carolina by Slaves after the Confederates lost however it wasn’t officially announced Memorial Day until May 5th, 1966 when the federal government announced Waterloo, NY as the birthplace of Memorial Day.

Picture from

However as the years passed, more wars occurred including World War I, World War II, The Vietnam War, Korean War, and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, those that lost their lives were also honored during this time.

Thankfully none of my family members died in the wars, but we did lose friends in the Vietnam and Korean War. We still use this time to remember and honor those that served as well (even though that’s Veterans Day). Both my grandfathers and my great- grandfathers served in World War I and II.

This is my Grandmother Mary and Grandfather Al before he went off to fight in the Army during World War II.

Mary and Al when they got married

And this below ( not pictured yet, have to search through our other photos) is my grandfather on my father’s side. Not sure where this was taken but he was Army then Airforce. They lived in Germany as the war ended. It’s interesting to hear my dad talk about living in Germany. Heck while researching our family tree, I found records that he and my grandmother returned to the United States on the Queen Mary.

The Queen Mary, docked in California

Alright enough about the history and my family. We, like most families, use food to celebrate. We love a good barbecue and Matthew loves to help. But besides BBQ, we love having fresh fruits like watermelon, blueberries and strawberries out. And we end our celebration with desserts.

To find our recipes check out Matthew’s Kitchen, which is our food blog