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The True Meaning of Memorial Day


The True Meaning of Memorial Day

For speechwriters planning their Memorial Day comments:

For many years the primary speech theme for Memorial Day has been, "What Does Memorial Day Mean For Me?" Although this theme makes speechmakers appear very noble and patronizing to the dead, talking about 'what Mday means from me' has never succeeded in getting listeners to focus on the true meaning of Mday.

This year's theme should be: "What Does Memorial Day Truly Mean?"

Over the decades Memorial Day has become a public holiday and for many has lost its meaning as a remembrance day. Retailers use Mday as the first big sales season after their post-Christmas "White Sales"... and far too many Mday speeches are made from places other than cemeteries where the public should be drawn to... and far too many living veterans use Mday as a celebration of their surviving the military or war.

Memorial Day should be spent at a gravesite. Memorial Day should not be about spending money at the Mall.

Memorial Day crowds should not be drawn to race car events, balloon launches, the offices of politicians, picnics and barbecues. Memorial Day crowds should be drawn to the places where those who gave their lives in war are buried.

And most of all, Memorial Day is not the day to celebrate or honor the living. Memorial Day is for the dead. Veterans Day is for the living.

The true meaning of Memorial Day must be reestablished in the hearts and minds of all Americans.

Roger Simpson,
Public Information Officer
The American War Library

1-310-532-0634, Mon-Fri, 10am to 4pm, PST

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Messages In This Thread

The True Meaning of Memorial Day
Re: The True Meaning of Memorial Day

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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