Montgomery Blair High School's Online Student Newspaper
Wednesday, August 15, 2018 12:36 pm
Latest:
May 27, 2012

Remembering the forgotten holiday

by Hannah Lynn, Online Managing Editor
It's the last weekend in May, which means that schools close for a day, public pools open for the summer and, most importantly, malls are filled with sales. But wait, if these few days are meant for relaxation, then why do we call it Memorial Day Weekend? Oh yeah.

Flags are planted in the ground to honor Memorial Day Courtesy of the Associated Press
Flags are planted in the ground to honor Memorial Day
After the end of the American Civil War, Memorial Day was created as a holiday to commemorate the fallen Union soldiers; it now honors fallen soldiers from all American wars since then. But I can't remember a time when the holiday was actually used for its designated purpose. Like most federal holidays (MLK Day, Labor Day, President's Day) the day off is seen as just that: a time to unwind and forget about school and work for an extra day.

The distressing part is that none of this is surprising. It's just like the United States to take an emotionally meaningful holiday and turn it into a moneymaking vacation. What better day is there to buy a discounted couch than a day honoring the dead?

But to many people, Memorial Day is not about relaxation; it's about remembering their sons, daughters, parents and grandparents who died fighting for our country. It's understandable that when the government gives its workers the day off that people want to take advantage of it, particularly when the weather is nice. But people should still try to remember and acknowledge what the day was made for, especially in the D.C. area where there are so many museums and memorials dedicated to the fallen. All it takes is a walk through D.C. during the weekend to see people putting flowers on the World War II memorial or photos of their relatives on the Vietnam War memorial wall.

It's not about whether or not someone agrees with the war or whether they've had family die in battle, it's about respecting the people who gave their lives fighting for our country. While it seems unlikely that we can reverse this federal-turned-corporate holiday, it's still important to remember why the post office is closed.

For a list of memorial day events happening in the area, click here.



Share on Tumblr

Discuss this Article

Silver Chips Online invites you to share your thoughts about this article. Please use this forum to further discussion of the story topic and refrain from personal attacks and offensive language. SCO reserves the right to deny any comment. No comments that include hyperlinks will be posted. If you have a question for us, please include your email address or use this form.
 

  • J.F. Davis on May 29, 2012 at 9:54 PM
    After the end of the American Civil War, Memorial Day was created as a holiday to commemorate the fallen FEDERAL soldiers.

    FTFY
Jump to first comment