Sun Editorial: Memorial Day — Three-day weekend or a return to a traditional day of remembrance?

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We’re all familiar with Memorial Day. We know that it is a day set aside to honor the brave men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice to protect our country and the freedom we have.

And we know that it is celebrated on the last Monday in May, thereby creating a three-day weekend for most.

Maybe it shouldn’t be that way.

Back when Memorial Day was first established during the Civil War era, it was observed on May 30. It had its own special day, which, many will argue, kept the focus on the meaning of the day.

They have a point.

When one thinks of Memorial Day these days, it’s easy to lose focus. There are Memorial Day sales at stores and the “kick-off to summer” sentiment. That people have three days off often overshadows what the spirit of Memorial Day is all about.

We don’t want to sound completely negative. Many communities still take pride in holding a thoughtful, meaningful Memorial Day ceremony and/or parade. We still see flags displayed. We still see a lot of people take time to honor those who died serving our country.

But we also can’t help but think that lumping Memorial Day into a three-day weekend has diminished the meaning of the day — at least somewhat. There are too many distractions. How many of us have made Memorial Day weekend plans that have absolutely nothing to do with honoring the meaning of the day?

Memorial Day should be special. It should be a time when every American reflects on the sacrifices made on his or her behalf and takes the time to pay proper respect. Nothing should distract from those sentiments.

Will the three-day weekend be replaced with a move back to May 30? Doubtful. It’s going to be up to each individual to cut through the clutter and honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice.