How will you spend Memorial Day? Take our poll

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Work is underway to restore the Iwo Jima memorial on the Midpoint Bridge. (CREDIT: WINK News)

Memorial Day is a national holiday observed in the United States and right here in Southwest Florida to honor and remember the men and women who have died while serving in our armed forces.

Originally known as Decoration Day, Memorial Day has its roots in the years following the Civil War and became an official federal holiday in 1971. Over time, its observance was extended to include all American military personnel who have died in any conflict.

It is observed on the last Monday in May each year. People visit cemeteries and memorials, participate in parades and other commemorative events. It is also common to display the American flag at half-staff until noon as a symbol of mourning, then raise it to full-staff as a symbol of renewal and resilience.

For many it also marks the unofficial start of summer. Retailers take advantage to offer sales. People travel to take advantage of the federal holiday and long weekend.

Here are links to some events happening Monday:

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