Ah, Memorial Day — America's unofficial kickoff to summer. While you're firing up the grill, chilling the lemonade and filling up the kiddie pool, don't forget the real reason many of us get to celebrate with a three-day weekend: to honor those sacrifices made by our fallen heroes.
In an effort to ensure that those heroes will never be forgotten, in 2000 the National Moment of Remembrance Act was passed and signed into law by former President George W. Bush. The act encourages all Americans to participate in a minute of silence wherever they may be at 3 p.m. on Memorial Day.
Once those 60 seconds have passed we encourage you to crank up the tunes in honor of those brave soldiers who have sacrificed their lives in the name of freedom with these 10 songs that will rock Memorial Day.
Mariah Carey, Best Female Pop Vocal Performance nominee, 1994
This song is truly a dedication to the heroes who had the strength to cast their fears aside and carry on. While some of these heroes never make it back home, we can rest assured that they are not forgotten. Carey, a five-time GRAMMY winner, heroically climbed to the top of the Billboard Hot 100 with this song in 1993.
Dixie Chicks, Best Country Album for Home, 2002
On their sixth hit to reach No. 1 on the Country Songs chart, the Dixie Chicks deliver a melodious tale that not only recognizes soldiers, but the people and loved ones they've left behind. In this case, it was a pretty little girl with a bow in her hair.
Destiny's Child Featuring T.I. & Lil Wayne, Best Rap/Sung Collaboration nominee, 2005
In this GRAMMY-nominated collaboration Beyoncé and the ladies of Destiny's Child call for a partner who is strong, fearless and credible on the streets. Sounds like a soldier to us. This track was also strong on the Billboard Hot 100, reaching No. 3 in 2004.
"Heroes Of Our Time"
DragonForce, Best Metal Performance nominee, 2008
Whether you're remembering a hero of our time, your time or anyone's time this Memorial Day, those who fought for freedom will never be forgotten, and "freedom will rise again," sings this GRAMMY-nominated metal outfit.
"I Dreamed There Was No War"
Eagles, Best Pop Instrumental Performance, 2008
When you just can't find the words to say this Memorial Day, listen to the soft instrumental sounds of this Eagles track off Long Road Out Of Eden, their sixth album to top the Billboard 200.
GRAMMY Memorial Day Playlist
"American Bad Ass"
Kid Rock, Best Hard Rock Performance nominee, 2000
The same Detroit rap-rocker who coined the term "bawitdaba" sings about the shameless, indestructible American bada** in this GRAMMY-nominated performance. One would have to be a bada** to face war and improvised explosive devices.
"I Will Remember You"
Sarah McLachlan, Best Female Pop Vocal Performance, 1999
Perhaps one of the most appropriate anthems for the National Moment of Remembrance, this song was first released in 1995 on The Brothers McMullen soundtrack, and was not forgotten when it won the 1999 GRAMMY for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance.
Edwin Starr, Best R&B Vocal Performance, Male nominee, 1970
Starr sings in protest of war on this classic track that helped him achieve legendary status in the soul circuit, but does not fail to recognize the tears that are brought to those who have gone off to fight and lost their lives. Per Starr's words: "War, good gawd ya'll/what is it good for?/Absolutely nothing!" The song's importance was further solidified in 1999 when it was inducted into the GRAMMY Hall Of Fame.
"Freedom At 21"
Jack White, Best Rock Song nominee, 2012
White couldn't be more right when he sings, "We are so free/It is good to be free." Thank you, brave soldiers, for our freedom.
Sara Bareilles, Best Pop Solo Performance nominee, 2013
Honestly, Bareilles wants to see you, and all of our heroes, be brave. So this Memorial Day, show just how big your brave is.
What songs will you listen to this Memorial Day? Drop us a comment and let us know.