This past Monday was Memorial Day here in the U.S., a day considered by many to be the unofficial start of summer. Most people celebrate with barbecues, picnics, and possibly by flying the flag. A few might have a parade or go to a cemetery. But despite its name, I'm not convinced that most people give more than nominal attention to the "Memorial" part (in fact, many of the websites I perused while reading up on Memorial Day said as much).
I went looking for the origin of Memorial Day because I've always thought of it as being connected to WWII in a similar way as Remembrance Day (Veterans Day) is connected to WWI. I was wrong; it turns out that Decoration Day, the precursor to Memorial Day, was for those who fell in the American Civil War and, unlike Veterans Day, was specifically chosen not to be an exact commemoration of a particular significant date. It wasn't until after the World Wars that the day was changed to remember all of our war dead.
And maybe the lack of a proper anniversary is why Memorial Day is not particularly significant to me; I'm more of a Remembrance Day kind of gal myself. And the point, I think, is not that we must all do the same things or think the same thoughts, but just like every other day of the year, it means different things to different people. So I hope that if Memorial Day wasn't your day to pause and consider those who paid the ultimate price in the service of their nation, that you choose a day that is significant to you. Because there is a time for serious thoughts as well as a time for silly ones.
What did you do for Memorial Day? Or, if you're not from the US, what day is significant for you to honour those who gave their lives for your nation?