Memorial Day Means More

Memorial Day is not just about celebrating the beginning of summer. It’s not about a three-day weekend, nor is it about barbecues or beach days or beer. This spring marks the 150th anniversary of the end America’s most solemn event.

The Civil War is the bloodiest conflict in American history. The violence and bloodshed of such battles as Gettysburg, Chickamauga, Shiloh, and Antietam were unprecedented, resulting in the deaths of more than 620,000 Union and Confederate soldiers. The cost of human lives in the Civil War has not been equalled by that of any other American conflict, and it amounts to almost one half of the total of all America’s fatal war casualties throughout history.

Three years following the end of the war, the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR), an organization of Union veterans, established Decoration Day to commemorate the fallen Union and Confederate soldiers. Decoration Day was to be observed on the 30th of May, when flowers are in bloom all over the country, as a time to decorate the graves of those who had fallen during tragic war.

Having claimed more lives than any other conflict in American History, the Civil War required the establishment of the country’s first national cemeteries. Arlington National Cemetery, located on a hillside across from the Potomac River and overlooking Washington, D.C., was the site of the first commemoration of Decoration Day in 1868, as General James Garfield and General Ulysses S. Grant led the ceremony and 5,000 war widows and mourners strewed flowers about the graves of their comrades who died in defense of their country.

Decoration Day, which was eventually renamed Memorial Day, originally honored only those who died in the Civil War. But during World War I the holiday evolved to commemorate all American military men and women who died in war. Arlington National Cemetery remains a tragic and reverent site to this day, as hundreds of thousands of the nation’s men and women of the armed forces are memorialized in straight line upon straight line of austere white tombstones matching the military precision of the lines in which the men and women who have fallen for our country once stood.

It is important as citizens of this beautiful, free country to remember the true meaning of Memorial Day, to remember the history of our nation’s fight for freedom, the magnitude of all who fell in the tragic American Civil War, and the courage and valor of every man and woman who has sacrificed their lives in the service of our nation’s armed forces since.

There is much more to Memorial Day than barbecue and beer. But there is also no better way to commemorate the fallen and celebrate our freedom and love of country than precisely that. Soparticipate in the National Moment of Remembrance at 3:00 p.m., but also make the most of your freedom and enjoy your time with your loved ones around the grill or picnicking on the beach.

Here are some ideas for your Memorial Day celebration:

Beats

March in a parade: Check outfleetweeknewyork.comfor a comprehensive list of events.

Lay flowers and flags on tombstones at aveterans cemetery: Brooklyn’s Green-Wood Cemetery is a national military cemetery, with 5,000 Civil War graves.

Attend a Memorial Day concert: There are tons of free concerts around the city to commemorate our country’s military service men and women.

Green-Wood’s 13th Annual Memorial Day Concert

New York Philharmonic Annual Memorial Day Concert

BBQ

Grilled Jalapeño-Lime Corn on the Cob

Creamy Potato Salad With Bacon

Southern Baked Beans

Grilled Teriyaki Chicken and Pineapple Kebabs

The Fake Shack

Juicy Steakhouse Burgers

Grilled Jerk Shrimp and Pineapple SkewersGrilled Jerk Shrimp and Pineapple Skewers

Guacamole
Guacamole

Booze

Grilled Citrus and Grape Sangria
Grilled Citrus and Grape Sangria

Amante Picante Margarita
Amante Picante Margarita

‘Dirty’ Arnold Palmer
Dirty Arnold Palmer - A delightful twist on the famous golfer's classic {i love} my disorganized life

Hell or High Watermelon

Stillwater Artisinal Ales Cellar Door
Stillwater Artisanal – Cellar Door


Originally published at newscult.com on May 25, 2015.

‘Tis the Season for Popsicles

It’s getting hot out, and that means ice cream trucks will be prowling the streets in all their creepy glory. There is little on this planet more refreshing and delightful during the summer months than ice cream and popsicles. When your hair is a frizzy mess and you’re nearly certain that you’re not just sweating but actually melting in the humid summer inferno, nothing restores your joy and revives you from your sun-induced slothful state like a frozen treat.

But while those jumbo rainbow pops, made of corn syrup and Color No. Holy-Neon-Carcinogen, from the ice cream truck may be tasty, and although you may get a fuzzy nostalgic feeling of your bygone youth with every lick, that putrid shade of blue your mouth acquires is a likely blow to your game with the fellas/ladies. Avoid the nightmarish melodies of ice cream truck and the equally terrifying poison it sells by making your own frozen goodies at home!

Forget about ice cream. Ice cream is a real project that requires commitment–and what’s less “summer” than commitment? But popsicles. Popsicles are way too easy to make for excuses. Just pour your favorite liquids into a mold, toss in some tasty toppings and add-ins, and pop ‘em in the freezer. In a few hours you’ll have yourself a scrumptious frozen treat on a stick, the most important food group of summer.

Fruit Pops

Ginger Peach Pops

Pink Grapefruit and Rosemary Popsicles

Honeydew Popsicles

Creamy pops

Berry Pops

Vietnamese Coffee Popsicles

Skinny Cookies & Cream Pops

Green Tea Coconut Popsicles

Mango Lassi Popsicles

Healthy Pops

Raspberry Coconut Chia Pudding Pops

Power Smoothie Striped Popsicles

Green Smoothie Detox Pops

Coconut Fig Pops (Dairy and Sugar Free)

Boozy Pops

Black and White Russian Pudding Poptails

Coconut Apricot Cardamom Bourbon Popsicles {Vegan}

Cucumber, Ginger, Gin Pops

Pimm’s Cup Pops

Pomegranate Blackberry Merlot Popsicles

Dark and Stormy Red Velvet Pops

Watermelon Mojito Pops

Chocolate Stout Cheesecake Fudgesicles

Protein Pops

Banana Chocolate Protein Pops

Tropical Fruit Smoothie Protein Popsicle

Pina Colada Protein Creamsicle


Originally published at newscult.com on May 18, 2015.