Thursday, July 25, 2024

Fire up grill, dust off civics

| May 30, 2021 1:00 AM

Tomorrow is Memorial Day, a holiday whose meaning is not understood by more than half of Americans.

At least, that's what a OnePoll survey of 2,000 people conducted last year found. Only 43 percent got it right.

Memorial Day, which takes place on the last Monday of May each year, honors the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military.

Veterans Day, celebrated every Nov. 11, honors all U.S. military veterans.

While the survey results reflect a national F on this civics quiz, it's hard to be harsh for long.

This somber "celebration" also coincides with the unofficial launch of summer, punctuated by charcoal fires and family gatherings in backyards and parks, by happily shrieking kids and camping and hiking and frolicking in the big, beautiful American outdoors.

True to form, Mother Nature could hardly be more compliant. Sunshine and warm temperatures are the order of the holiday weekend and the days ahead. But before we dive into the delights of marinades or margarita mix, let's remember what this holiday weekend really is all about.

Tomorrow at 3 p.m., let's take not a moment to remember, but The Moment to remember.

From Wikipedia:

"The National Moment of Remembrance, established by Congress, asks Americans, wherever they are at 3 p.m. local time on Memorial Day, to pause in an act of national unity for a duration of one minute. The time 3 p.m. was chosen because it is the time when most Americans are enjoying their freedoms on the national holiday. The Moment does not replace traditional Memorial Day events; rather, it is an act of national unity in which all Americans, alone or with family and friends, honor those who died in service to the United States."

National unity. Elusive, maybe, but something 100 percent of us understand is what our fallen brothers and sisters would have wanted.