CELEBRATE MEMORIAL DAY 2022
The last Monday of May is Memorial Day. This federal holiday is a time for both commemoration and jubilation. We remember and honor the members of the Armed Forces who gave their lives for their country and celebrate the lives their sacrifice has made possible.
First, The History of Memorial Day
After the end of the Civil War in 1865, residents in municipalities across the United States paid tribute to those who'd passed in the conflict, visiting and decorating the graves of deceased soldiers. As early as May 5, 1866, the village of Waterloo, New York, formalized the tradition, with local businesses closing for the day in honor of the fallen. Two years later, one General John A. Logan proposed the initiation of Decoration Day, to be held on May 30 for the purpose of adorning the graves of those who'd died for their country.
By 1890, Decoration Day had become a widespread observance in the North, while Southern states held similar observances on different days until they, too, came to adopt the holiday. After World War I, the scope of Decoration expanded to include those who'd died in all wars. By World War II, the name "Memorial Day" became the more common designation. Later federal acts in the 1960s and 1970s standardized the name and repositioned the holiday from May 30 to the last Monday in May.
Today, Americans continue to visit and decorate the graves of fallen service members, often wearing red poppies as a symbol of commemoration. It's also common to revel in the long weekend by throwing parties and holding backyard cookouts, with various grilled meats and vegetables being the unofficial foodstuff of the holiday.
Bourbon and Barbecue in the Backyard
Whether you're in charge of the grill or just mingling while the food is being grilled, bourbon can present some fine ways to improve the experience. With Memorial Day being the unofficial start of summer, you're likely to be feeling some heat — if not from the sun, then from the smoldering embers of the grill or any of the tangy, saucy foods common in backyard barbecues.
Bourbon is a spirit with history; and just like Memorial Day itself, has a way of bringing together friends and family in a way that is truly "memorable."
Fortunately, some bourbon and a little ice can help you beat the heat. Bourbon on the rocks is more than just a refreshment: The ice also opens up the flavor of the spirit, releasing notes that may have been hidden under the more dominant characteristics. Alternatively, you can fix yourself any number of great bourbon-based cocktails. Mint juleps, old fashioneds, and bourbon sours are all great options for staying refreshed during the festivities.
In 2022, Memorial Day falls on May 30, just as it did way back when. Enjoy this callback to the past by carrying on the traditions of the day, and raise a glass to loved ones here and gone.