What Does Memorial Day Mean to You?

Memorial Day

Many people don’t think about this weekend, and especially today as a memorial day to honor fallen soldiers. Rather, it has come to signify the first long summer weekend, celebrated with sales at shopping malls and grand barbecues. How in the world did we trade the grief and sorrow over dear fallen heroes for just another long weekend vacation? Does it even bother anyone?

Back when Memorial Day was established in the 1860′s, America was licking its wounds from the civil war. Most people had a family member, friend or neighbor who was a casualty. That’s because 2% of the population was killed – about 700,000 people out of 30 million).

Thankfully today, most readers of this blog may not even know any soldiers or grieving families. That’s a good thing. But our soldiers today are still fighting for freedom, and there are many families across the nation that are mourning every single day, not just today.

Memorial Day was originally observed on May 30th, but about 40 years ago, was moved along with three other days to a Monday, in order to create long weekends. Various veteran groups are very unhappy about this:

Changing the date merely to create three-day weekends has undermined the very meaning of the day. No doubt, this has contributed a lot to the general public’s nonchalant observance of Memorial Day.

Since school ends in late May / early June, for many families Memorial Day Weekend is the first opportunity to celebrate summer. And retailers will take any opportunity to sell us something, so why not a long weekend to have yet another sale. Perfect, right?

Whether you are out and about traveling today, or grilling some tasty morsels, please pause for a moment to pray and think about our fellow countrymen. We have been granted great privileges through their sacrifice.

  • Catherine

    I have to disagree with this generalization that everyone has become shallow and never remembers what Memorial Day means. I think celebrating our freedom by being with family and barbecuing to be a great way to honor the sacrifices made. Celebrate that we can do that! I don’t think with the amount of news we are exposed to of wars and unrest around the world that many people really forget that. I see flags everywhere, people praying and talking about it on Facebook and so on. Give most people the credit they deserve.

    • http://www.fooducate.com/ Fooducate

      Probably depends on where you live in the US.

  • Jack

    How about sticking with food and not political editoralizing?

    • http://www.fooducate.com/ Fooducate

      What does this have to do with politics?

      • Jack

        It means stick with food. In case you have not noticed yet, everyday is military worship day in America. I do not need to hear from food bloggers about what I should or should not be doing on Memorial Day.

        • http://www.fooducate.com/ Fooducate

          The please start your own food blog.

          • Marshall

            Keep up the great work Fooducate!

  • Jenn

    Having been in retail for sooo long I can tell you this editorial hits the nail on head. Certainly those who lost are respecting the day for what it is supposed to mean, but for everyone else it means fun, food, parades, and weekend long special sales events…period!. Retailers don’t even close early anymore to allow their employees time to participate in the holidays…instead you are made work harder and be busier. If it was truly being honored for the day it was suppossed to be, people would boycott the stores and retailers would be forced to close for lack of profit. I can tell you this also applies to the 4th of July and Labor Day and encroachingly Thanksgiving and Christmas.

  • John

    “But our soldiers today are still fighting for freedom” – I don’t think that statement is true – it was true during WW2. Fighting in Iraq to get access to oil doesn’t count as fighting for freedom. Attacking Afghanistan doesn’t count as fighting for freedom.

  • carlagolden

    Could not agree with you more. Thank you for verbalizing & publishing this! It has been a very somber day for me as I think of all lives that have been lost near and far and how many families have been shattered. I think that if we as a society could collectively feel the true magnitude of the meaning for Memorial Day, we’d become less tolerant of war.

  • salisburyjen

    I was born into the military and I am married to a soldier. It hurts my heart because so many people don’t truly care about this day. People called to thank my husband, as he says thank you we both state that today is not for him as he is thankful to still be alive. He has lost brothers in combat those are the people everyone should be thanking. May our friends and all other soldier who paid the ultimate price RIP

  • Robyn

    This blog has become the worst. The corporate plugs, OK; the persistently condescending tone of limousine liberals food-shaming, fine, that’s basically what you sign up for when reading this thing. But what on earth does this have to do with food? Why should I read a blog that assumes that I’m American, or that Memorial Day doesn’t mean anything to me, or that it *has* to have a particular meaning to anyone? Aside from this having nothing to do with food–if I want jingoistic editorialization about holidays, I’ll watch TV news.


  • drkathleenfuller

    My hope is we honor those that do remember the true meaning of living in our free country and the men and women who were there to help us keep our freedom.

  • maria

    This was a good post. To those of you that are so negative-bring your attitude elsewhere.