Did you know that many groups, such as the Veterans of Foreign Wars, oppose the current practice of celebrating Memorial Day on the last Monday in May? They'd prefer to return to the pre-1971 practice of celebrating on May 30 no matter which day that falls upon.
The VFW gave its reason in this statement:
"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."
I see their point. Memorial Day should be a solemn time when we commemorate the sacrifices of all the men and women who have given their lives for America in wartime. And that's not always easy to keep uppermost in minds that are consumed with outdoor barbecues, summer vacation and the biggest auto race on the planet.
Despite this, I'm not ready to give up the three-day weekend we've become so used to. But I do agree that it probably has contributed to that air of nonchalance the VFW cites.
So this year, do me a favor and take just a little time on Monday to quietly give thanks to all those who, over the years, have put our freedom and security above their own lives. It's the ultimate gift, and one for which we should never stop expressing our gratitude.