Outdoors with Forda Birds---By John Andreoni
It’s hard to believe that Memorial Day Weekend is here already. First of all, most of the ones I remember brought a lot of warmer temperatures with them. Of course, this Memorial Day seems to be a lot earlier than usual, and that’s true simply because of the calendar. This federal holiday is scheduled to fall on the last Monday of the month, and in 2015 we still have almost a full week remaining in May. When I was growing up, I always knew this holiday as Decoration Day. Established shortly after the Civil War, it was designed to honor soldiers who died while in service to their country by decorating their graves. It isn’t supposed to be a time to thank veterans for their service. On the other hand, I guess that’s a good thing to do any time. If nothing more, it’s politically correct.
For many, the original purpose of Memorial Day has become an afterthought. It’s a long weekend, a paid holiday, and a day off of work. In the process, Memorial Day becomes a time to get outdoors to enjoy activities associated with the season. Consequently, instead of honoring the fallen, people usher in the unofficial opening of the summer season. Times change, as do priorities, I guess. It’s not a question of right or wrong, it’s just the way it is.
Regardless, the summer season is here, officially or not, and people will be taking advantage of it. For Lake St. Marys, that’s a good thing. The area has suffered ever since the first algae warnings were issued just before this holiday weekend back in 2009. The EPA knew of the problem in 2007 according to their own information but chose to release an algae advisory just days before Memorial Day. I never have figured out why they chose that particular time, but if one were trying to get the most bang for the buck, what better moment than right before one of the busiest weekends of the year. If that’s the case, warranted or not, it worked, and Lake St. Marys took a major hit to its $150 million dollar a year tourism industry.
Read more: Memorial Day Weekend