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It’s Memorial Day weekend, and unlike most of my blogs – which tend to get a bit windy – I’ll keep this short.

Who doesn’t like a three-day weekend? And after the rough winter everyone had, we can truly identify with how the media call Memorial Day “the traditional beginning of summer.” It’s a time of picnics and parades, visiting friends and family, and enjoying the outdoors. For woodworkers, it’s three days without answering (or making) business calls, paying much attention to email, and just taking advantage of some extended shop time. I know I’ll be out in the shop part of the weekend.

But that’s not how Memorial Day started. Originally a day to honor Civil War dead (the first organized observance was in 1868), it gradually become a day to honor all those who fell during wartime. Its scope has further widened in recent decades to remember all who we’ve lost, military or otherwise. A bit diluted from its origins, perhaps, but still on-point.

Nothing wrong at all with picnics, outdoor fun, visiting loved ones, or indoor pursuits of sawdust-making. Those things, after all, celebrate life. And as far as I’m concerned, celebrating life is what remembering those before us is really all about.

All I’m saying is, as we eat our burgers, watch our parades, and enjoy our uninterrupted shop time, let’s not lose sight of what the day should be, and why – and, more importantly, how – we’re able to enjoy it.

Till next time,


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