George V. Reilly

Memorial Day

Memorial Day at Arlington National Cemetery

Of all the major American holidays, Memorial Day and Labor Day are the most divorced from their ostensible meanings. To most peo­ple—my­self in­clud­ed—they are little more than the brackets of summer, three-day weekends of barbecues and sun.

Memorial Day com­mem­o­rates U.S. men and women who died in military service. I don’t think I know anyone who actually observes that, including Emma, a USAF veteran. If I knew some military families, I might think otherwise.

Veterans Day (November 11th) honors all veterans, peacetime or wartime, living or dead. Few adults get Veterans Day off, so it’s poorly observed.

Labor Day originated as a parade to exhibit to the public “the strength and esprit de corps of the trade and labor or­ga­ni­za­tion­s”. That meaning is long gone for most people.

blog comments powered by Disqus
Review: The Last Light of the Sun » « Review: Terribly Happy