This weekend is one of those three day weekends that our nation celebrates, and I would venture a guess that many do not even know why. Lots of people who work in offices, government jobs, banks, schools, etc. have the last Monday in May off. The rest get to work their tails off in retail businesses holding big sales for all the shoppers, or entertainment venues to keep people having fun all weekend, or restaurants to feed the crowds.
I live in a tourist destination and thousands of people pour into our area to “get away” for a long weekend. This is the first year in a long time that I am not one of those working in retail during the big sales weekend. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against families getting away together to play and enjoy spending time together, but the purpose of the Memorial Day observance has gotten lost in the shopping, entertainment, BBQs, boating, camping and so on. For many school has ended (or will be soon) and the big weekend represents the start of summer. In the midst of celebrating fun times, we need to take time to reflect on the purpose of Memorial Day in order to appreciate the freedoms we have in America.
Memorial Day used to be observed on May 30th, so the day of the week it fell on changed every year. In 1971, our government changed the day of observance to the last Monday of May, creating a three day weekend. Memorial Day originated after the Civil War to commemorate those who had died serving in the war. After World War I, the day was to honor any Americans who served and died in any war. It was originally called Decoration Day because people cleaned up the grave sites and placed flowers on the graves to honor those who died.
There has been a push to restore the Memorial Day observance back to May 30th. “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
Take some time this weekend to remember what the holiday represents. Here are some links to help you:
While you are creating memories with your family this Memorial Day weekend, establish in their minds some memories that last about why they enjoy the freedoms they have in our country.
(Melinda and I are going to take a few days off and we will be back again next Tuesday with Transform it Tuesday!)