May 28 Weekly Open Thread: Memorial Day
Whether we attend a parade, watch a race, or put on a barbeque with friends, family, and neighbors, we should take a moment and reflect on the true meaning of this national holiday.
Memorial Day was originally called "Decoration Day," and began during the Civil War to honor white and black Union soldiers who had fought and died for liberation and peace.
The term "Memorial Day" was first used in 1882 and became popular after World War II, but it wasn't until 1967 that federal law recognized the name. On June 28, 1968, Congress passed the Uniform Holidays Bill which created 3-day weekends, moving Memorial Day from May 30 to the last Monday of May.
Proper observance of Memorial Day includes raising the American flag to half-staff until Noon, then taking it to full-staff for the rest of the day.
Us car lusters note that the Indianapolis 500 is held every Memorial Day weekend. As I write this (5/27/12), the flag has just dropped on the cars, letting them have a go of it. But a car race is by far not the main reason for this somber weekend.
The Memorial Day weekend is also the unofficial start of Summer to a lot of people. Schools used to time their calendars so they they were out of session by this time, and public pools usually open now.
So to mark our Memorial Day holiday weekend and to honor our fallen fellow Americans, perhaps there is no better homage than to play "Taps."
--That Car Guy (Chuck)
Image Credit: The Memorial Day Parade image (with border added) is from TeamSportsCoversBlog.com.