Memorial Day 2009

Memorial Day 2009

Today is Memorial Day in the United States, a holiday once known as Decoration Day, the time to remember those who fell in defense of their country.  Memorial Day is now officially observed on a Monday to form a three-day holiday weekend, with the original significance distilled down into a 60-second Moment of Remembrance.

But there are 259,199 more minutes to a three-day weekend, and human nature abhors a semantic vacuum, so the holiday has acquired meanings in other realms:

Ceremony: Solemn ritual processions.

Ritual garb: White footwear.

Nutrition: Ceremonial meals.

Transportation: The Brickyard.

Economics:  Door-Busters.

Calendar: Memorial Day is the official Unofficial Start of Summer


The National Moment of Remembrance is at 3:00 PM to 3:01 PM (local time in each time zone) on Monday, May 25, 2009. U.S. Code, Title 36,114, Stat. 3078, Sec.(2)(7): “… reclaim Memorial Day as the sacred and noble event that that day is intended to be.”

For more about the origins of Memorial Day, see Burying the Dead but Not the Past by Dr. Caroline Janney.

Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht,

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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3 Responses to “Memorial Day 2009”

  1. cookiecrumb Says:

    Ha ha! Very good.
    I used to own a pair of white bucks. They came with a little cloth bag of chalk dust that you could use to “re-whiten” them.

  2. HL Says:

    In some neighborhoods, Memorial Day marks the changeover from felt cowboy hats to straw…

  3. Mike Licht Says:

    HL wrote: Memorial Day marks the changeover from felt cowboy hats to straw…

    … and the end of socks in cowboy boots until Labor Day, no doubt.

    Of course sailors shed their socks and have had bare toes in their Topsiders since the Vernal Equinox (March 21st). Are sailors tougher than cowboys? Well they’re certainly not tenderfeet.

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