Memorial Day-- the day where America gets the day off to relax and spend the day outside barbecuing and sitting in the sun, right?

Wrong.

In today's generation, Americans tend to forget the true purpose of this holiday time and time again. Instead of honoring those soldiers who have fallen, we sit around outside with alcoholic beverages in our hands and chow down on those yummy burgers fresh off the grill. We anticipate this three-day weekend for weeks on end, counting down the days until we get to relax and spend quality time with our families and friends.

But amidst all of our excitement for family time and barbecues, we forget to celebrate the true reason behind this holiday, the soldiers who fought and died for this very independence we take for granted daily.

Yes, Memorial Day is a great time to spend with family and friends, but don't forget to pay your respects to the soldiers who have fought and died for our country all throughout history. Attend a Memorial Day Service, say some prayers, or even place American Flags and flowers on local veterans graves; the options are endless.

Did you know that Memorial Day was enacted after the Civil War to commemorate the thousands of soldiers who perished in the war?

Did you know that America didn't recognize Memorial Day as a federal holiday until 1971?

Did you know that the American Flag should be flown at half-staff until noon and then moved to the top of the staff for the rest of the day?

Did you know you are supposed to pause at 3 p.m. as a National Moment of Remembrance for all of the soldiers who have served in any war?

Memorial Day is not a weekend to be used as a "kick-off to summer" but should be used to honor those who have fought and died for you so you can have this day and these freedoms. We certainly wouldn't be where we are today without our soldiers.

So this Memorial Day, instead of thinking only about sun, summer, bonfires, and barbecues, make sure to pay your respects to those that have fallen, that's the least you can do.