By in Holidays

Memorial Day Celebrations and Why I Am Annoyed

Earlier this morning, I found an article I wrote when I was with Associated Content/Yahoo Contributors Network five years ago. Though it required a bit of revision, I resubmitted it on my blog as, Memorial Day Significance Has Been Forgotten. You see, I found myself as annoyed today as I was when I wrote the original in 2010.

Many Americans seem to use everything as an excuse to throw a party, to take time off from work, and to take advantage of the sales (as buyers) and the buyers (as sellers). Though I have no issue with people getting together to build relationship to others and enjoy one another's company, or having time off to spend the money they work so hard to make, I am saddened by the fact that we seem to have forgotten history and the people whose blood was spilled to preserve the right to make choices we determine best for us.

I recognize that life changes us. It changes what is important to us as individuals, as well as collectively, whether families, nations, or the world. I am happy to have been taught in the public and private school system, as well as in my family unit, the significance of the holidays that so many take for granted today.

It is my hope that the words, which will remain on my blog when I am long passed, will serve as a reminder to those who are left behind.

There are some traditions and values truly important enough to keep alive. Will there be something in the list of things that I suggested that you will do in observance on Monday? I hope you will let me know. I need to regain hope in my fellow citizens.

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inertia4 wrote on May 23, 2015, 3:26 PM

CoralLevang America has become a consumption country. This country is all about the money, the sales. Holidays have lost their meaning over the years. It is no longer the celebration of the particular day. Now it is all about parties, sales and making money, lots and lots of money. This is no longer the United States of America, it is now the United States of Greed.

CoralLevang wrote on May 23, 2015, 3:44 PM

inertia4 And the very people who complain the most or loudest about the greed of the big businesses/corporate America are often the greediest of individuals. It is one of the reasons that I gave the suggestions in the blog post, in hopes that someone somewhere will step back into DOING something a little different this year.

MelissaE wrote on May 23, 2015, 3:59 PM

My mother and I will be attending a memorial service at a national cemetery.

inertia4 wrote on May 23, 2015, 4:00 PM

CoralLevang I don't know about that. It is so ingrained in the american people now that they will just continue on the way they have been going. Nothing will change.

CoralLevang wrote on May 23, 2015, 4:40 PM

I have been to our Tahoma National Cemetery in Washington state. The service is one that I have always appreciated, except for the disgruntled, highly vocal, claiming to be Vietnam veterans and who do what they can to disrupt the service. I always love to see the remaining WWII and Korean vets in attendance, especially. They are the reason that I joined the military.

CoralLevang wrote on May 23, 2015, 4:55 PM

&AbbyG I understand what you are saying, and appreciate the reminder of it. However, as I am very involved daily with both the military and civilian communities, I have seen and heard over and over the years things that would make those who died to preserve their freedoms to making those choices turn over in their graves. But yes, you are right. People need to shop, picnic and have fun, as well, and I don't know what they are doing during the rest of the day/weekend. But, I am not foolish enough to let what has been trending over the decades go without challenging others to think about it, and call them to take action. So, aside from shopping, having fun, and going picnicking with your family and friends, what will you be doing to honor those who gave their lives over the years in a war--Civil, Spanish-American, WWI, WWII, Korean, Vietnam, Gulf Wars, etc.? Surely, you have fallen heroes in your family.

AliCanary wrote on May 23, 2015, 5:58 PM

I think it is okay to relax and spend time with your family, provided you have taught your children what it means and have made an appropriate observation of the day.

wolfgirl569 wrote on May 23, 2015, 8:53 PM

Sadly it is even advertised as a weekend to do extra partying.

morilla wrote on May 24, 2015, 7:13 AM

Unfortunately, the meaning of MANY holidays has been 'lost' for most people. In some ways, the 'commercialism' is simply a symptom of the problem in that it may be the only 'real' time people get to shop and/or take advantage of sales. In others, when something is being sold, that means people are working; thus, it's not an 'holiday' for them. Just like the television commercial where the parents send the kids off with the grandparents and then they 'enjoy' the alone time by... being asleep in bed, 'holidays' now represent a break from work, a chance to rest - maybe - rather than what they were intended to celebrate or honor. Of course, it doesn't help that it's now considered "politically incorrect" to teach what many of these holiday's actually represent; so, the new generations often don't even KNOW what it is aside from a day off school/work.

CoralLevang wrote on May 24, 2015, 1:26 PM

Thank you for the explanation and for your own service as a military wife. That is equally important service.

CoralLevang wrote on May 24, 2015, 1:28 PM

Exactly. Many do not teach their children, because they haven't been taught themselves. I still do not think that it excuses ignorance. I'm getting together today with friends who are like family. Tomorrow I'll be going to the cemetery.

CoralLevang wrote on May 24, 2015, 1:30 PM

*shakes head* And sadly, there will be some whose extra partying will cost them their lives and the lives of others. They will be honored for their lives, though they wouldn't honor the true fallen heroes.

CoralLevang wrote on May 24, 2015, 1:42 PM

I am ever-aware today that what I was taught as important is no longer important. It is a big mirror that I face daily to remind me that I am getting old. It is also a reminder that I do not want to see/know what happens next. Not only do most not know, they do not care. In the words of a 25-yo military member in my class about a year ago: "Why don't you Baby Boomers just die already? We're taking over the world anyway!" Yes, that is exactly what he said. The previous day I had shared that I was LIVING with Stage 4 cancer and it was why I encourage them to go after jobs that will give them joy on other levels than just money and benefits, as you never know when you will face your lightning bolt (a-ha!) moments.

BarbRad wrote on May 24, 2015, 3:19 PM

I am not yet sure how I will be spending tomorrow, but for sure it won't include any parties. I lost a childhood friend who died in Vietnam, and I will be remembering him and the others I did not know who have given their lives to protect our freedom. I will also be praying that those who died in Iraq and Afghanistan will not have died in vain.

morilla wrote on May 24, 2015, 3:34 PM

In some circles, it's called self-actualization. In others, it's called enlightenment, maturity, and an host of other things. Unfortunately, at 25, you figure you're immortal, bullet-proof, can do know wrong, and have all the answers the 'older people' were incapable of finding. It usually takes them a few years to realize that the 'older generation' felt the same way, got knocked about by Life, and did discover some of the answers, which is what they are trying to pass on. Of course, when you're 25, you don't want to hear that you are NOT immortal, NOT bullet-proof, are wrong more often than passably correct at this point, and actually don't have any real answers since you're not truly experienced enough to even know the right questions yet.

CoralLevang wrote on May 24, 2015, 3:36 PM

I am sorry to hear that you lost a friend in Vietnam. These are the things that are never easy.
I always try to honor all who have died, but especially those from WWII, who were the reason I joined the military. I pray that none of our men and women have died in vain, where freedom is concerned.

CoralLevang wrote on May 24, 2015, 3:39 PM

Yes, I suppose there comes a time we all mature, become enlightened, etc. I'm sure it took me much longer than most, as I have subscribed to a sense of hope for the world and others. Some call that "idealism," which may or may not be realistic.

wolfgirl569 wrote on May 24, 2015, 8:35 PM

It has been a bad weekend already in my area. A bad batch of heroin hit the streets this weekend. 4 dead and several in the hospital. They probably wanted to party the long weekend away

CoralLevang wrote on May 25, 2015, 3:32 AM

*sigh* I hate to hear this.

Bensen32 wrote on May 25, 2015, 10:16 AM

Thanks for this post and another reminder of what this day should be about. As you know I posted about it too.
For today I am going to head to our local Memorial and attend the service they have today, I will then enjoy sometime with family.
I hope your day goes well.

celticeagle wrote on May 26, 2015, 12:12 PM

It has become the American way. We love to get friends together. We love to have an excuse to drink. We have to make the all American $ too. It all becomes a habit, a tradition.

CoralLevang wrote on May 26, 2015, 4:04 PM

I don't have a problem with friends getting together, making money, drinking or habits. But when that becomes the tradition, and we forget the reasons that we are free to do so, that is where it makes me cringe.

CoralLevang wrote on May 26, 2015, 4:05 PM

Had a good day and for, for the most part, it was quiet. I hope yours went well, too.

Bensen32 wrote on May 27, 2015, 2:06 PM

I had a really good day the memorial was very nice and I enjoyed time with my family. My nephew and I talked a lot about the service. He is going into the Army next month.

MegL wrote on June 22, 2015, 3:59 PM

There is more than one holiday that has been overtaken by commercialism and selfishness. I suppose here in the UK, our memorial day is Armistice day in November, when wreaths are laid at cenotaphs and there are bands and marches of members of the Royal British Legion (I suppose the equivalent of your "vets").

CoralLevang wrote on June 23, 2015, 5:40 AM

We changed Armistice Day (now Veterans' Day) in 1954. I've read some interesting commentaries as to why. It is on November 11th. Thgen we have our Memorial Day the last Monday of the month.