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No holiday for the spill

My family spent the day at a barbeque. Maybe yours did, too. But if you live anywhere along the Gulf Coast, I wonder, does it feel right to go to the beach on this Memorial Day weekend? Is it even safe? Kerry Sanders reports that people did get out to the shore today, but beaches were closed in the area nearest the spill. Kerry is going to tell us tonight about the potential health risks-- not just for all those crews on cleanup duty (who did not get a day off today), but for everyone living near the site. And when does it end? Anne Thompson will help us understand exactly what BP will do next to try and stop the flow and why it could mean even more oil gushing into the Gulf in the short term.

If you have been out grilling, we'll try to catch you up on another big story today. We woke up to news that Israeli commandos had boarded a flotilla filled with activists bound for Gaza. There were statements of condemnation from pro-Palestinian governments. The White House expressed "deep regret" over the loss of life but stressed the need to learn all the facts.

Of course we haven't lost sight of what this day is all about. Last night my kids (ages four and seven) asked me what "memorial" meant. We had a nice talk about service to our nation and the people we honor today. They understood when they saw the little flags in front of the graves at Arlington National Cemetery on the Today show. And tonight I'm going to make sure they see the piece by Jim Miklaszewski about the mementos families leave behind in Section 60 and a group trying to make sure those items are preserved.

I'm very happy to join the NBC family officially tonight. I hope you'll join us for the broadcast. Brian will be back again tomorrow, reporting live from the Gulf Coast.