If you are like most people, when you think about Memorial Day weekend, many things come to mind. Barbecues, family gatherings, vacations–all of these things have become standard Memorial Day fare and with good reason–they are fun and what better time to engage in such things than a long three-day weekend that kicks off the warm weather months!
The truth is, however, that there of course is a far deeper, much more reverent meaning to the Memorial Day holiday that has somehow gotten lost in the quest for All-American style fun. The true meaning of Memorial Day has almost completely eluded the younger set, which was poignantly illustrated during a survey done by an organization known as “No Greater Love”. This humanitarian organization conducted a survey of children back in 1996, asking kids why there was a holiday on Memorial Day. The children’s answers were very heart wrenching as there was much chatter about vacations, barbecues, three-day weekends and local swimming pools finally being open. There was one huge thing missing amongst the majority of the children surveyed, however, and that was a general knowledge of what Memorial Day was really for, that being to honor and recognize the soldiers who made the most supreme sacrifice of all, by giving their lives in order to preserve the many freedoms that we today can fortunately enjoy.
This organization did a very important thing after these revelatory survey results were brought to light. A “National Moment of Remembrance” was instituted. This moment of remembrance would require everyone to stop whatever they were doing at precisely 3:00 pm (local time) on Memorial Day and pause for one full minute of silent reflection. In some locations “Taps” will be played at 3:00 as well, depending on where you are at this time, of course. Whether you are in a formal setting or not, there is no reason why you can’t stop and take advantage of this opportunity to pay due homage to our fallen soldiers; it’s the right thing to do!
The point of instituting a “National Moment of Remembrance” was to raise awareness in future generations about Memorial Day and to remind all people of what this special holiday is really about. The idea of the Memorial Day moment of silence was fully embraced by both the President and Congress and since 1997 it has become an American tradition. What will you be doing at 3:00 pm on Memorial Day this year? If you and your family are out and about–enjoying many of the freedoms that many soldiers gave their lives to preserve–by all means, take one minute to show respect, honor and remember those who gave the ultimate sacrifice in our behalf.
Happy Memorial Day from your friends at Halloween Express!