With Memorial Day fast approaching, we thought it would be prudent to talk about the history of this day and what we, as Americans, should be doing to keep the spirit alive.

Memorial Day originally was called Decoration Day and was created to honor the Union dead of the Civil War. Over time, as hostilities over the bloody war between the states subsided, the more inclusive "Memorial" replaced "Decoration" and the perception of a national holiday grew. Memorial Day became even more popular following World War II, but it wasn't until 1967 that it became a federal holiday. During the 1970s the traditional date of Memorial Day was finally established, the last monday in May.

That was the abridged version, if you want more details, learn more about Memorial Day here.

What does Memorial Day mean to you now? How does it rank in your life? Obviously, we should thank our armed forces everyday that we live in a free country. This weekend especially, though, we need to take a moment to remember the fallen.

Memorial Day weekend isn't just about opening our pools and grilling hot dogs. Countless soldiers have paid the ultimate price for the freedoms we enjoy and sometimes take for granted. Please remember, wherever you are on Monday, May 31st, take a moment at 3pm to remember that freedom isn't free. It was paid for by the men and women of our brave armed forces. Learn more about what you can do on this day here.