For those who celebrate Memorial Day as a picnic, there's a few other things to keep in mind.
Such as the reason you've got the day off.
And if you fly Old Glory, there's some etiquette you might want to pay attention to as well.
A federal law adopted in 2000 designates 3 p.m. local time as the time for all Americans, in their own way to observe the National Moment of Remembrance.
At least one store plans to honor that minute. All managers at Stater Bros. stores will make an announcement at that time to pause for 60 seconds to honor Americans who died to defend freedom.
President Barack Obama declared, in his Memorial Day proclamation, "On Memorial Day, we honor those who have borne conflict's greatest cost, mourn where the wounds of war are fresh and pray for a just, lasting peace.
"The American fabric is stitched with the stories of sons and daughters who gave their lives in service to the country they loved. They were patriots who overthrew an empire and sparked revolution. They were courageous men and women who strained to hold a young Union together.
"They were ordinary citizens who rolled back the creeping tide of tyranny, who stood post through a long twilight struggle, who saw terror and extremism threaten our world's security and said, `I'll go.' "
For those who fly the United States flag, which gets special attention this weekend, it should be raised to half-staff between dawn and noon on Memorial Day, then dipped and hoisted to the peak until sunset.
At noon, the flag should be lowered all the way, then hoisted to the peak. Unless lighted, it should be taken down at sunset. In rain, the flag should not be flown at all.
When displayed on the same staff with other flags, such as state or county flags, the U.S. flag should be on top. Other national flags should be displayed on a separate staff.
Other rules of etiquette regarding the flag include:
- On a car, the flag staff should be affixed to the chassis or clamped to the right fender.
- Flag pins should be worn over your heart.
- When folding the flag for storage, tradition holds that it should be done in a triangular fashion, with only the blue union showing when finished.
- It is considered disrespectful to let flags touch the ground, or to drape them over vehicles, wear them like a cape or use them like drapery.
What became Memorial Day was first observed on May 30, 1868 as Decoration Day, a time for the nation to decorate the graves of the Civil War dead with flowers.
It was established 25 days earlier by Maj. Gen. John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, an organization of veterans who fought for the Union in the Civil War. It is believed that date was chosen because flowers would be in bloom all over the nation.
By the end of the 19th century, Decoration Day ceremonies were being held on May 30 throughout the nation. After World War I, the holiday was changed to honor Americans who died fighting in all wars.
The term Memorial Day was first used in 1882, became more common after World War II and declared the official name by federal law in 1967.
Memorial Day had been observed on May 30, until being moved to the last Monday in May in 1971 under terms of the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, which became law in 1968.
Like all major league baseball teams on Memorial Day, the Angels will wear Stars and Stripes caps, with a digital camouflage applique filling the logo on the
front of the cap.
The cap is available for purchase on Major League Baseball's website, MLB.com. All net proceeds will be donated to Welcome Back Veterans, a program which addresses the needs of returning American veterans and their families.
—City News Service