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Memorial Day 2018: Remembering & making new memories

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"On this day, take time to remember those who have fallen.
But on every day after, do more;
put the freedoms they died for to greater and nobler uses." 
— Richelle E. Goodrich, author

During holidays, we're generally encouraged to remember the reason behind the special day. The two instances where this is most prevalent is Christmas and Memorial Day.

Memorial Day's purpose often gets lost in the revelry of summer's arrival … except when your awash in a tropical storm's rain bands.

But today is supposed to be more than time with family and friends at picnics, trips to the lake and day baseball games.

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It's the day dedicated to honoring those killed in battle.

Many Memorial Day messages: This holiday, however, has been a problematic from the outset, with its origins as a tribute to those lost in the country's deadliest, and still divisive, military encounter, the Civil War.

As Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne notes, Memorial Day has been mired in political controversy almost from the beginning. That's only intensified as it seems to many that we're again fighting a philosophical civil war.

But perhaps, if only for a bit on this May 28th, take a moment to acknowledge and show respect for the military men and women who have died while serving our country.

James Fallows in a piece in The Atlantic suggests four accounts of American warriors that eloquently and personally display why the real reason for Memorial Day should never be forgotten.

Memorial Day taxes: Not to add to the mixed messages, but this is a tax blog.

And on that front, Ryan Prete of Bloomberg Tax breaks down the taxes on items and events traditionally connected to Memorial Day celebrations. This includes levies on foodbeer and holiday travel.

In addition to those taxes affecting all of us, an earlier post here on the ol' blog offers thanks for those who made the ultimate sacrifice and takes a look at federal tax breaks for U.S. military service personnel still serving.

Many states also provide special tax considerations for servicemen and women.

Respectful celebration: Regardless of how you celebrate Memorial Day, here's hoping it's a safe and enjoyable one.

May it be a day of many new and wonderful new memories.

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And may it also include at least a moment to remember those whose dedication, love of our country and sacrifice is, as the saying goes, the reason for the day.

"Patriotism is supporting your country all the time
and your government when it deserves it."
— Mark Twain, author and humorist

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