Memorial Day began long ago as Decoration Day after the American Civil War in 1868. It was established as a time for the nation to decorate the graves of the Union war dead with flowers. By the 20th century, competing Union and Confederate holiday traditions, celebrated on different days, had merged. Memorial Day eventually extended to honor ALL Americans who died in military service. Don't confuse Memorial Day with Veterans Day. Memorial Day is a day of remembering the men and women who died while serving while Veterans Day celebrates the service of all U.S military veterans. So this weekend as you enjoy cookouts with family and friends, take a moment to honor the memory of those who paid the ultimate sacrifice to maintain our freedom. If you can, visit the second annual BOOTS ON THE GROUND FOR HEROES MEMORIAL presented by Operation Stand Down Rhode Island near the Temple of Music at Roger Williams Park this weekend. Almost seven thousand military boots have been placed in the park representing our U.S Servicemen and women who gave their lives defending our nation's freedom in the Global War on Terror.