Sunday, May 28, 2017

The Sunday Before Memorial Day 2017


The cartoon by John T. McCutcheon which is posted atop this Blogger entry, was published in the year of 1900, with a caption accompanying it stating: "You bet I'm goin' to be a soldier, too, like my Uncle David, when I grow up."

As most of you probably know, the upcoming holiday taking place (in the United States) tomorrow, is Memorial Day, as it is currently celebrated on the last Monday in May. Prior to it being celebrated on the last Monday in May, the traditional date was May 30th.

According to Wiki, "The law took effect at the federal level in 1971. After some initial confusion and unwillingness to comply, all 50 states adopted Congress' change of date within a few years.

"Memorial Day endures as a holiday which most businesses observe because it marks the unofficial beginning of summer. The Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) and Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War (SUVCW) advocate returning to the original date, although the significance of the date is tenuous. The VFW stated in a 2002 Memorial Day Address:

"Changing the date merely to create three-day weekends has undermined the very meaning of the day. No doubt, this has contributed a lot to the general public's nonchalant observance of Memorial Day.

"Starting in 1987 Hawaii's Senator Daniel Inouye, a World War II veteran, introduced a measure to return Memorial Day to its traditional date. Inouye continued introducing the resolution until his death in 2012."

And prior to the holiday being called Memorial Day, it was called Decoration Day, a time to decorate the graves of those killed in a war. The practice of decorating soldiers' graves with flowers is an ancient custom. Soldiers' graves were decorated in the U.S. before and during the American Civil War.

This fact of decorating a grave belonging to a man or woman killed in war, is most likely one of the reasonings behind McCutcheon's cartoon.

As for me during this time, I find it hard to focus on my projects, for it seems disrespectful to not do something that honors those killed at war.

The most I can do from where I am is to provide links to some content re those who are trying to raise awareness about the solemnity of Memorial Day; a day that is about so much more than being an "unofficial start if summer."

One link is to a news segment titled These People Are Marching to Raise Awareness of the True Meaning of Memorial Day, the other link is for the news segment, To Many Americans, Memorial Day Has Lost Its Meaning.

What are your thoughts, dear reader, about the on-going controversy re moving Memorial Day back to the date it was first celebrated; as opposed to the celebrating it on the last Monday in May?

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