Friday, May 27, 2005

Memorial Day

Memorial Day always reminds me of my uncle Mel and putting flowers on gravesites. It was something that he did every year. In the back of my head, I know that Memorial Day is more than a three day weekend, but for what purpose is it truly to serve? All uniformed men and women? Just those lost in battle? I googled it and found this site. The origins of Memorial Day vary quite a bit, but I did find that it is a day to honor all those who have died in battle. But I'm not the only one who doesn't know the traditions surrounding the holiday.

Traditional observance of Memorial day has diminished over the years. Many Americans nowadays have forgotten the meaning and traditions of Memorial Day. At many cemeteries, the graves of the fallen are increasingly ignored, neglected. Most people no longer remember the proper flag etiquette for the day. While there are towns and cities that still hold Memorial Day parades, many have not held a parade in decades. Some people think the day is for honoring any and all dead, and not just those fallen in service to our country...But what may be needed to return the solemn, and even sacred, spirit back to Memorial Day is for a return to its traditional day of observance. Many feel that when Congress made the day into a three-day weekend in with the National Holiday Act of 1971, it made it all the easier for people to be distracted from the spirit and meaning of the day. As the VFW stated in its 2002 Memorial Day address: "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."
On Monday, during the picnic, the zoo trip, the movie, remember not just those who fought in battles, but those who died during battle and those that were left behind to enjoy the freedoms they earned.

No comments: