Memorial Day – Perhaps at my advanced age of 44, that old …walked to school uphill in the snow both ways mentality is starting to trickle in but as each year passes, I’m increasingly struck by just how far we’ve strayed from exactly what Memorial Day is. In fact, I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised to learn that one of my crotchety old ancestors echoed the same sentiment when Memorial Day replaced the moniker of its origin which was Decoration Day. Decoration Day was conceptualized on May 5, 1862 by General John A. Logan, a then noted leader of an organization for Northern Civil War veterans.
While the history and transformation throughout subsequent wars is as fascinating as it is lengthy in detail, Memorial Day was born with the intent to honor the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military; no doubt a frank and somber explanation.
In recent days, I haven’t been able to help but wonder if the likes of Logan and the families of the fallen ever envisioned Ford and GMAC having a blockbuster Memorial Day sale or if local law enforcement would ever publically pledge to really, really, really crack down on drunk driving for three days. I’m struck by the notion of having a safe and happy Memorial Day during a day devised to dedicate sober retrospective thought and respect for those that have fallen so that we might continue to stand.
Not to be steam rolled exclusively by blow out sales on bedding, lawn mowers, trucks and boats, the true spirit of Memorial Day also stands in the shadows of a dramatic shift in the solstice; Memorial Day is now the first day of summer while June 21 will now play the role of Saturday.
While I am exceedingly appreciative of my loyal customer base, it is an incredibly distinct and humbling honor to be able to serve a few of those who have served us all. I would encourage anyone to take a moment, if only a brief and silent one, and thank those that have afforded you the opportunity to capitalize on getting 30% off that mower or take advantage of 6 months deferred for that sectional sofa. Thank you all.