Tuesday, May 21, 2002
Whatever happened to Memorial Day?

On the basis of an unscientific sampling of signs and displays devoted to Memorial Day, it seems that lots of people are confusing Memorial Day and Veterans Day. Sure we want to be aware of the contributions our veterans have made, but from the time of the US Civil War, Memorial Day has been about honoring those who died in service, not those still with us.

Yeah, yeah. Situations evolve, and concepts in play at a founding don't necessarily continue to be the ones associated with the founded object or process. But one way situations evolve is for folks to take note of the originating circumstances, sometimes saying, "Hey. Maybe we ought to reconsider the direction this is taking?"

I say we memorialize our military dead on Memorial Day, and we honor our living military veterans on Veterans Day.