To many people Memorial day is simply the beginning of summer, a "free" day off work, BBQs, picnics, and sales at their favorite stores. I bet most people couldn't tell you what Memorial day is actually for. I would bet that less than half of Americans could tell you the real reason Memorial day is a "free day off work." These are the same people who cheerfully say "Happy Memorial Day" to you. My question to you: what is "happy" about Memorial day? That has to be one of my biggest pet peeves. Should we be happy that our military members were killed in battle? Should the families and friends be happy that they must now live on without that person? Children grow up without one of their parents? That is the cost of your "free day off work."
The following quotes are from Help Restore the Meaning of Memorial Day: "Memorial Day used to be a solemn day of mourning, a sacred day of remembrance to honor those who paid the ultimate price for our freedoms. Businesses closed for the day. Towns held parades honoring the fallen, the parade routes often times ending at a local cemetery, where Memorial Day speeches were given and prayers offered up. People took the time that day to clean and decorate with flowers and flags the graves of those the fell in service to their country."
""Changing the date merely to create three-day weekends has undermined the very meaning of the day. No doubt, this has contributed greatly to the general public's nonchalant observance of Memorial Day."
-- VFW 2002 Memorial Day address"
In 1915, Moina Michael wrote a poem in honor of Memorial day:
|We cherish too, the Poppy red|
That grows on fields where valor led,
It seems to signal to the skies
That blood of heroes never dies.
"As eloquently stated by Mr. Inouye in his introductory remarks to the bill he introduced in 1999:
"Mr. President, in our effort to accommodate many Americans by making the last Monday in May, Memorial Day, we have lost sight of the significance of this day to our nation. Instead of using Memorial Day as a time to honor and reflect on the sacrifices made by Americans in combat, many Americans use the day as a celebration of the beginning of summer. My bill would restore Memorial Day to May 30 and authorize our flag to fly at half mast on that day. In addition, this legislation would authorize the President to issue a proclamation designating Memorial Day and Veterans Day as days for prayer and ceremonies honoring American veterans. This legislation would help restore the recognition our veterans deserve for the sacrifices they have made on behalf of our nation." (1999 Congressional Record, page S621) "
My challenge to you.
1. On Monday, May 30th at 3:00pm ET please join in the National Moment of Silence remembering our fallen military.
2. Take 5 minutes out of your day to teach your child(ren) the true meaning of Memorial Day.
*Soldiers' Angels has a "call to action" for Memorial Day. Check out their site for ways to show rememberance for our fallen military.