Memorial Day weekend officially kicks off summer

Mother Nature is finally smiling on the Upper Peninsula, just in time for the Memorial Day holiday weekend: Temperatures will be in the 70s or higher and sunshine is in the forecast.

We hope everyone finds some time to enjoy the great outdoors, be it on a hike, on a bike or with a backyard barbecue party.

That being said, we also hope people recall what this weekend is about: remembering those who paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.

Memorial Day is traditionally the start of summer, a season much too fleeting in this area most years.

But it should also be a time of reflection about the men and women who have served in our military and have given their lives in that service.

Originally started as Decoration Day to commemorate the fallen from the Civil War, Memorial Day has evolved to include the remembrance of all who have lost their lives as part of the American services in the 230-plus years our country has needed their help.

As happens every year, flowers and flags have been placed on many grave markers as a symbol of this consideration for the memory of the fallen.

We encourage everyone to take at least a minute during the three-day weekend to offer a thought of thankfulness for those who went beyond what most are willing to do to preserve our future.

Have a safe and happy – and thoughtful – Memorial Day weekend.