Memorial Day (American Holiday)

Today is Monday, May 30th.  In the US, it is a public holiday called Memorial Day.

For my non-American readers,

Memorial Day is a United States federal holiday observed on the last Monday of May (May 30 in 2011). Formerly known as Decoration Day, it commemorates men and women who died while in military service to the United States.[1] First enacted to honor Union and Confederate soldiers following the American Civil War,[2] it was extended after World War I to honor Americans who have died in all wars.

Memorial Day often marks the start of the summer vacation season, and Labor Day its end.

It began as a ritual of remembrance and reconciliation after the civil war, but by the early 20th century, Memorial Day was an occasion for more general expressions of memory, as ordinary people visited the graves of their deceased relatives, whether they had served in the military or not. It also became a long weekend increasingly devoted to shopping, family gatherings, fireworks, trips to the beach, and national media events such as the Indianapolis 500 (since 1911) and the Coca-Cola 600 (since 1960) auto races.[3]

source-Wikipedia article here

I’d like to say thank you to the all the military personnel who choose each day to devote their lives to our country, and those who have given their lives for our country.

My grandfather served 22 (plus?) years in the military and then worked as a civilian on Fort Devens until he retired.  He drove an ammunition truck in Korea and worked in satellite communications in Vietnam.

Today, most Americans celebrate Memorial Day as a day of great shopping related sales (it is, to be fair), the day when the local pool opens (at least in my part of the country where it’s too cold to swim before Memorial Day), or the last day off from school before the final push to the end of the school year (end of June in my part of the country).

Regardless of you feel about the military as a whole, or how the government chooses to deploy the military (and I will confess to mixed emotions on those fronts and occasional outright fury), you have to respect that there are men and women who volunteer to dedicate some portion of their lives to the ideals of America.

Thanks.

 

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