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Soucheray: A salute to the honorable on Memorial Day

Today is Memorial Day, also known to some as "Decoration Day."

Originally, this was a day when southerners after the Civil War took time to turn their attention to their cemeteries, as a sign of honor for the ones they had lost in the conflict between the North and the South. Many people think this was the precursor to Memorial Day, which we mark on Monday.

Surrounding cities, such as Shakopee and St. Paul, will help us recognize and show respect for those who have so bravely served our country. It is a day to remember these people within our own families, whether they served in a conflict or not, by visiting the cemetery in which they are buried and placing a wreath or a flower, if permitted, on their grave. It is a time to recall the contribution they made to the lives of our family members and our country, as well.

If you are from another city and you won't have an opportunity to go to a cemetery near your former home, take time this weekend to share stories of family members who served and how they touched your life and the life of your family. Your church may even offer a service on Sunday or Monday that will help you think about the role these family members played, as well as ways you can honor them by way of appreciation for all they have done to touch your life.

If you are a history buff, you could spend Monday at Fort Snelling, where the staff will dress in costume and commemorate 225 years of Minnesota military history. For more information, check the Fort Snelling website for times and entrance fees. Check out the Sibley House Historic Site and The Landing in Shakopee for additional information about the weekend.

Or you could visit the Minnesota State Capitol where you will find memorials for those who served in World War II, Korea and Vietnam, as well as a memorial honoring Peace Officers. If you stop by the Capitol in St. Paul, check the websites for the Children's Museum, the Science Museum and the Minnesota History Center.

Woodbury will mark Memorial Day with an 11 a.m. ceremony on Monday at the Woodbury Lions Veterans Memorial.

For many people, Memorial Day is the first day of summer, even though our children still have two more weeks of school before their summer break officially begins. Take some much needed time if you have the day off and spend it mindfully thinking about the contributions of those who have so selflessly and valiantly served our country. As you do so, you will show your children what an honorable and important position those in any branch of the service, and in any capacity, these people hold.

Soucheray is a Woodbury resident and a licensed family therapist