We all look forward to that three day weekend that unofficially kicks off the summer season -- but have we forgotten the reason we have a Memorial Day in the first place?

You may have heard your grandparents refer to it as "Decoration Day". Although there are conflicting reports on just where and when Memorial Day started, it is now a federal holiday that is set aside on the last Monday of May to honor and remember the members of our military who lost their lives while serving our country.

Memorial Day and Veterans Day are often confused. Memorial Day honors those who have lost their lives, while Veterans Day is a day to thank all of those who have, or are currently serving, in our military.

In  years past there would be a parade in the city of Grand Rapids on Memorial Day, but that has been cancelled for this year. Instead, the city is asking businesses and city residents to illuminate the exterior of their properties with red, white, and blue lights. Flags, of course, are also encouraged. Read more about that here.

There are other events planned as well...

If you are looking for a parade, there will be one in Walker on Monday beginning at 12 Noon. The parade has a new route this year. It will be on Remembrance Road. The parade will begin at the Walker City Hall and end at Walker Village. Check the City of Walker's Facebook page for additional information.

There will also be a parade in Jenison. The parade will run along Baldwin Street from the corner of 20th Avenue to Cottonwood Drive (that same route as in previous years). This parade is a little earlier in the day...the parade starts at 9 am on Monday.

There are also other events in many communities in west Michigan. The GR Kids website has a list of activities and so does WOOD TV 8.

 

LOOK: 100 years of American military history