It’s Memorial Day weekend  and, for a lot of folks, it’s time for recreational tasks like cleaning up the boat to head to a lake somewhere to enjoy the sunshine and relax on the water. For my family, as well as many other ranchers, Memorial Day weekend is the time when we move pairs to pasture, so we’re spending the three-day weekend sorting pairs, vaccinating and fly-tagging calves, pouring cows and hauling them to summer grass.
The forecast calls for heat, and we’re hoping to get everything worked and moved before a few big things happen in our family. First, my sister is getting married  May 30. Secondly, my husband Tyler and I are expecting the arrival of our first baby on June 6. Needless to say, while summer grazing season is always an exciting time for us, this year’s kickoff to summer is especially fun for my family as we welcome a couple of new additions to the family – a new in-law and a newborn.
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Of course, Memorial Day isn’t just a time for ranch work or a leisurely day on the lake. It’s also a time to remember our lost servicemen and women who made the ultimate sacrifice to protect our freedoms.
Memorial Day  was first observed on May 30, 1868. Called Decoration Day, it was started as a day to clean up graves and public memorials, and remember fallen soldiers of the Civil War. After World War I, the observance was extended to recognize all men and women lost in battle, and it was declared a national holiday in 1972. Today, I’m certainly thinking of the individuals who made the ultimate sacrifice for our nation, as well as all men and women who served, or are currently serving, our country overseas. There are many people in uniform unable to spend this weekend with friends and family. Say thank you to those you can and pray for those you can't.
Interestingly, Memorial Day is also the second-most popular barbecue weekend, after Independence Day. If you plan to fire up the grill this weekend, here are 46 steak and beef recipes to spice up your holiday menu , courtesy of seriouseats.com. These recipes include ideas such as Argentinian-style grilled short ribs with chimichurri, Santa Maria-style barbecue tri-tip, grilled spice-rubbed skirt steak, and chipotle rubbed steaks with lime butter.
Tell us how you’re observing Memorial Day  and what the day means to you. Put your thoughts in the comments section below.
The opinions of Amanda Radke are not necessarily those of Beefmagazine.com or the Penton Farm Progress Group.
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