Memorial Day. A time for barbecues, friends, time at the beach. But it really does mean more. As we approach the holiday, it's good to reflect on the holiday's meaning and roots as you munch down on that hotdog.
According to Wikipedia, "Memorial Day is a federal holiday in the United States for remembering the people who died while serving in the country's armed forces. The holiday ... originated as Decoration Day after the American Civil War in 1868, when the Grand Army of the Republic, an organization of Union veterans founded in Decatur, Illinois, established it as a time for the nation to decorate the graves of the war dead with flowers. By the 20th century, competing Union and Confederate holiday traditions, celebrated on different days, had merged, and Memorial Day eventually extended to honor all Americans who died while in the military service."
While America is certainly not perfect, as we look around at religious wars in the middle east, repressive governments all over the globe, and bleak economics in many countries, America looks like a pretty good place to live. Remember that America didn't come for free. It was infused with the blood of many American soldiers who fought for the principles and ideals this country stands for. While we may not always live up to our ideals, at least we have them. Take time out of your picnics and holiday vacations to reflect on those who died fighting for what we have.
Download NTEU's Memorial Day flier here, and post it in your cubicle or office.