Acknowledging Memorial Day via Social Media

Today, May 28, 2012, is Memorial Day in the United States of America. This day is a federal holiday and it serves as a day of remembrance for the men and women who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces. It is an important day (in my opinion) and should be observed with reflection and thought. Many people think that our freedom is free. In reality, it is paid for through blood, sweat, tears and lives.

As I surf through my Facebook News Feed, I see many people making posts about Memorial Day and following up their sentiments with comments such as, “Now in true American fashion, I shall celebrate with a BBQ.” When did this happen? When did going to the beach, serving up hamburgers and having pool parties become our way of remembering our veterans who lost their lives while serving our country?

If I based my knowledge of Memorial Day solely by what I see on Facebook, I would think that the holiday has something to do with the military kicking off the summer season. There are definitely mentions of people who lost their lives while defending our freedom but the majority of what I see is related to partying. I see a LOT of children in bathing suits jumping into swimming pools. Do these children know that today is Memorial Day or what today means?

When I was the age of these children, my parents took me to the main street of our town. We lined up beach chairs and waited for a fun and special Memorial Day parade to start. We all had American flags in our hands and we cheered as the parade started. It was a wonderful way to honor and memorialize our troops and veterans. We moved out of this town when I was about five and a half years old but I have memories of watching men and women in uniform march in the parade. We went to the parade with many of our neighbors and started the weekend with a bit of a history lesson. The BBQs and block parties were secondary.

Is this the way that we are still raising our children or are we teaching our kids that Memorial Day weekend is the kickoff of summer? Will the next generation have a deep appreciation for the value of Memorial Day or will they be busy planning getaways to the beach? Is it possible that social media is skewing how people feel about the holiday?

  • http://twitter.com/gingerconsult Jen Olney

    We are losing the value of this day and its meaning to the next generation. This should be a day of remembrance that others have paid with their lives so that we can enjoy the freedom to speak on such platforms. It is a shame to see so many who do not honor this day with the proper respect. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Genevieve-Horrall/1591472607 Genevieve Horrall

    Lauren I too feel that this year the giddiness of summer seemed to take over the day.  I cannot speak for the rest of the nation, but my children know the importance of this day. I know the importance of this day.  My husband is a veteran. 

    I think that the biggest reason that so many have forgotten or do not see it, is they have learned to tune things out.  Thing like news and social media seem to drowned things out.  Think about it, we discuss a story for a minute maybe two and then we are off to the next useless topic of cell phones or swim wear or which celebrity broke up with who. 

    I too long for the day when people will give tribute and a moment of dignified honor to those that gave them such a precious gift, but I am afraid that in order for that to happen, the cost would be to much to bare. 

    Here is the honor and the love of those that gave of themselves so that we all maybe free.   

  • http://www.laurenhuston.com Lauren Huston

    Genevieve, I think that it is great that your kids are being raised with the understanding that Memorial Day has an actual historical significance. My father, both grandfathers, uncle and several cousins are veterans so I, too, understand that service to our country is not to be taken lightly. These men and women deserve a Memorial Day where hotdogs are not a priority.

  • http://www.laurenhuston.com Lauren Huston

    Thanks for the comment. I agree entirely, Jen. I can’t imagine that it will get better with the next generation but I can only hope that it won’t get worse. Maybe that is wishful thinking, though.

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