Memorial Day – Remembering Why

If you have ever been in Canada during the month of November, you are sure have to seen a plethora of red poppies on people’s lapels. Although Remembrance Day is November 11th (the US’ Veterans day), the entire nation buys and wears the little red cloth flowers in memorial of fallen soldiers from the Canadian Royal Legion over the course of the entire month. Money from the purchases support Veterans. The same poppies are worn in England. Most countries have two minutes of silence at 11am on November 11th in memory of the fallen.

On Israel’s Memorial Day (Yom HaZicharon), there are 2 separate minutes of silence (one in the morning and one in the evening) where the entire country stops, gets out of their cars, stands on their porches and listens to a siren while reflecting on the lives which have been given by its soldiers. The radio stations all play sad songs, and there are sad movies on the television.

In the US, although there are some ceremonies and some volunteers who decorate graves of fallen soldiers, most Americans consider Memorial Day to be the 3rd day of Memorial Day Weekend. This is a time to go on vacation and have fun, maybe have a barbeque or go on a fishing trip.

Now that the US is at war again, and the number of fallen soldiers is growing more and more, perhaps more people recognize the disservice we are doing to the memory of those who have fallen for our freedom. There has been a growing movement to change Memorial Day back to May 30th – so as to separate it from the “three day holiday” mentality.

What do you think?  Do you “celebrate” Memorial Day?  Or Memorial Day Weekend?  How does the 3-day weekend effect your business?  Let me know your thoughts?