Ask any military family who has lost a family member to war or a person who has a loved one deployed overseas and they will likely tell you Memorial Day is not a celebration. It’s not a happy day. It was never intended as the unofficial start to summer or a big day for race fans. It’s a somber occasion meant to honor the men and women who have died in service of the country.
The holiday, originally called Decoration Day, started in the Civil War era; when the graves of those killed in action were adorned with wreaths. In 1971, Congress declared it a national holiday to be observed the last Monday in May. Since then, many veterans groups have lobbied for a return to the traditional observance of May 30, saying the creation of the national holiday further eroded the day’s meaning.
In order to remind Americans about the true meaning of Memorial Day, President Bill Clinton in 2000 issued the National Moment of Remembrance resolution. It asked all Americans to “voluntarily and informally observe in their own way a moment of remembrance and respect, pausing from whatever they are doing for a moment of silence or listening to ‘Taps.'”
So, while it’s okay to enjoy a day off from work or school to go to a parade, attend a barbecue, or take advantage of those sales; why not take a quiet moment to remember those who sacrificed it all for all of us. It’s the least we can do.
Until Next Monday,
Photos courtesy of Art Boza and http://www.ShoestringWeekends.com
Meaning of Memorial Day http://www.wpri.com