Monday, May 28, 2012

I Shop In Memory Of . . .


What does Memorial Day mean to you?  The day the community pool opens?  The beginning of the last week of school?  A great day to buy lawn furniture on sale at the local big box store?

Ever since the Uniform Monday Holiday Act of 1968, most national holidays have come on a Monday to allow for a 3-day weekend.  While no one would state it so bluntly, the act allowed more time to indulge the foremost American cultural tradition of shopping rather than engaging in solemn reflection on the meaning of Memorial Day or Martine Luther King Day.

Some citizens, however, are petitioning to have Memorial Day shifted back to its original day of May 30.  The holiday has begun to mark the beginning of the summer season to most people rather than a day given to honoring those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for this country.  Furthermore, they’re proposing that all institutions that have them ring their bell for one minute on that day in recognition of those who died.

What do you think?  Have we lost the meaning of this holiday in our rush to celebrate summer?  Should we move the holiday back to its original dates instead of celebrating only on Mondays?  Share you opinion about Memorial Day or your own summer plans in the comments box.


Lee I said...

I'd just as soon move the holiday back to May 30. However, I'm retired, so the convenience or inconvenience of a three-day weekend is irrrelevant to me.

It seems to me that as a kid, Memorial Day was to remember everyone who had died. I could swear we used the occasion to leave flowers at great-grandma's gravesite.

Haven on Hanover said...

It seems like all of the holidays have become an opportunity to shop. Sad. I love having a three day weekend so I'd prefer to leave it as is. I use the opportunity to be with friends and family and be grateful for the good life we have in this country. No shopping except for a trip to get a bottle of wine to take to the cookout!

Nadine Feldman said...

I wish I knew the answer to this. I'm not sure that moving the date will make a difference. Like Lee, I remember going to the gravesites on Memorial Day. My grandfather was a WWII veteran who left us too soon in 1975 (he was only 56), and I think of him on this day as a special, unique, complex man whose natural sunny nature was darkened by his war experiences.

Anonymous said...

Martine Said... In France there are two memorial days and are celebrated on the anniversary of the end of wars. Always May 8 and November 11.
May 8 this year was Tuesday and November 11 will be a Sunday.
Shops are closed and we can't do shopping these days.
There are military ceremonies in honor of the combatants.
Your picture, seems be the cemetery in Normandie, I went with friends there are few years. It's really sad that all these young people have died in a war that we have not lived but unfortunately has existed. Also, We all have an ascendant who has lived the war. I pray that there is never other war.
Regarding the summer, the sun is just beginning to show after two months of rain which helped to fill groundwater that were dry
Have a good memorial day to you

Julie Farrar said...

Ah, Martine. The French know how to do a holiday. In other words, they do NOTHING. I try not to do any shopping and non-holiday stuff on those days. I spend them with friends and family, do something outdoors, attend a festival, but I don't try to catch the sales or hit the grocery store.

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