According to the The Old Farmer’s Almanac, summer 2016 begins with the solstice on June 20 at 6:34 AM Eastern Daylight Time.

Nope.  To me the true beginning of summer is Memorial Day, also known as Decoration Day. 

A little history: the first official Memorial Day occurred when General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, declared, “The 30th of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers, or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion (aka the Civil War), and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village and hamlet churchyard in the land.”

Other nuggets: On that first Decoration Day, General James Garfield spoke at Arlington National Cemetery with 5000 participants decorating the graves of the 20,000 Confederate and Union soldiers buried there. After World War II, the day was expanded to honor those who died in all American wars. Memorial Day has never been the anniversary of any particular battle. Over two dozen cities and towns insist they are the birthplace of Memorial Day, but Waterloo, New York is considered the official site. 

To me, Memorial Day is when I can plant my Victory Garden with no worries. The wicker furniture on the deck and porch gets plumped with pillows. The living room windows go up and a brisk breeze rattles the newspapers on the coffee table. 

One other thing!  Here in the Kennebunks, we celebrate with one of the sweetest parades anywhere. Folk gather in Dock Square to enjoy the marching bands and the magic of the day. Mr. Wonderful was so moved by our local festivities, he wrote a song and made a video about Memorial Day in Kennebunkport.  I hope you enjoy it.  The link to the video is below.


(If for some reason it doesn't take you right to the site,  just copy and paste into your browser.)