This day means different things to different people. For most, at the very least, it is a day off from the daily grind. But this bears little truth to the origins of where this day came from.
My wife's grandmother used to call it Decoration Day. It was the day we would go to the cemetary so she could put decorations on the graves. We originally thought that this was one of her odd ways (she was a strange duck, spirited full of spit and vinegar). I recently found that it wasn't her being odd, it was her being stubborn (very fitting actually). The original name of Memorial Day was Decoration Day. It came from a day originally set aside for honoring the soldiers that fought for both sides of the American Civil War.
Although the South didn't honor the day as much as it was honored in the North, it was after World War 1 that this changed. After WW1 the day was changed to honor those who died in any war. It wasn't until 1966 that President Lyndon Johnson officially declared Memorial Day (around 100 years from when the tribute had started). It was in 1971 that the National Holiday act placed the official day on the last Monday in May.
In the grand scheme of things, at my house, we question the need to set aside a specific day for honoring the dead and those who have sacrificed all for the greater good. We question the idea of Valentine's day as well (no we aren't monsters, I'm gonna explain it ya know). The question we should ask ourselves, shouldn't we honor the fallen daily? Shouldn't we show those we love how much we love them on a regular basis? We have become so programmed to have outside sources tell us how to live and believe and think that it seems we run on autopilot a bit too much.
Here is something else to float through your brain as you ponder those other questions. We spend most of our days filled with venom and seething, fighting against perceived wrongs. Is it possible that we might have a bit more energy on a daily basis to love and honor those around us and those who have come before us if we maybe changed our focus a bit?
I think I need a pint, I have a pool to clean...