Close to a couple of centuries ago, someone came up with an idea to commemorate the poor souls lost in the Civil War. On May 5th, 1866 the very first instance of Memorial Day was observed by flying flags at half mast and decorating the graves of those lost with flowers and of course a ceremony.
A few years later it was then celebrated on May 30th in Waterloo, New York.
In 1968, Congress made it the last Monday in May to ensure a three day weekend.
Nowadays, corporations milk the weekend dry with throwing sales upon sales and making more money for themselves.
Sadly, when it comes to Memorial Day, most people think about is how much cheaper they can buy their DVD player if they go shopping at the Wiz during their monster sale. Even sadder, more people hit the beach to get started on their fabulous new tan for the summer. Fortunately, veterans’ associations do not let the true meaning of the holiday go to waste by having ceremonies and parades commemorating those lost in war.
Why is Dave blabbing about such things??
Well, this morning I was listening to a radio station on my way to work and the topic of what to do on September 11th came up. A great deal of people want a national holiday created to commemorate the events of September 11th… Many failed to realize that Bush already designated September 11th as Patriot’s Day. It’s not however, a day off. Rather, it’s a day where we honor those lost in our own way. Flags will fly at half-mast and a moment of silence will be observed.
However, this is not the reason I write this.
Personally, I do not want a national holiday for that horrific day. It isn’t because I do not care about what happened… Hell I do not want a holiday for the exact opposite reason. I will be damned if a national holiday is created where 10, 20, 30, 200 years from now someone will use the tragedy of that day to make some money for themselves. Do you really think all of the poor souls lost during the Civil War would be happy that I can get a DVD-ROM for 30 bucks less than regular price at Best Buy on a holiday created to commemorate their tragic loss?
Fuck no! I do not see any good about creating a national holiday other than the fact that some blood-sucking corporations will find a way to make some money from it in the future.
Here’s an even smarter idea a caller listening to that radio station came up with…
What about giving something back to the community? How about using that day to head on over to the nearest fire/emt/police station and saying thanks for what they did and continue to do so bravely. Give them a check, make them some food or offer an ear to listen and a shoulder to cry on. How’s about donating some clothes or food to the nearest homeless facility? There’s a ton of people out there who lost their jobs/homes because of what happened. I am sure they can very well use your old jackets and a bite to eat on that day (or any other day for that matter). How’s about donating some blood? Apparently, the national blood supply is in dire need of donators. Even something as notable as telling those around you that you love them. A great deal of those lost in Pennsylvania, Washington DC and New York couldn’t even do that on that fateful day!
If you’re in the office, give a call and donate some money or start a food/clothing drive for the local charities… If you decide to use some personal or vacation time that day, there’s a whole mess of stuff you can do to honor those lost by providing some sort of service to the community. I can see why creating a national holiday is good, but given our track record for capitalizing on every single holiday, do you really want it to be boiled down to a “White Sale” in the future?
I for sure don’t…