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May 26th, 2008
10:20 AM ET

So which one is Memorial Day?

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/05/25/art.memorialday.jpg]

Sgt. Jerome Bishop

Not long ago while I was sitting at my desk at work, a Soldier presented an interesting question, not because of what it was, but what made it interesting is why it was asked.

"So what's Memorial Day, again?" the Soldier asked.

This kind of disturbed me. As it turns out, the confusion came from the difference between Memorial Day and Veteran's Day. While both are federal holidays to remember our nation's servicemembers past and present, only one commemorates the living.

The one that doesn't is May 26, the last Monday in May. That one would be Memorial Day. I just never thought I'd have to explain that to someone.

When Memorial Day comes around, a lot of thoughts rush to mind. Memories of picnics with the family, maybe catching the Indianapolis 500 Indy car race with a cold beverage in hand or enjoying the sun at a nearby public pool that just opened for the summer – all of which are easily recognizable traits of Memorial Day. All the while, the true meaning of Memorial Day remains hidden in the back of our mind – if it's even there at all.

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Filed under: Memorial Day
soundoff (4 Responses)
  1. Annie Kate

    Memorial Day used to be referred to as "Decoration Day" in a lot of towns – it was a day to remember those who had died in the service of their country; to have a graveside memorial service and to clean and decorate the graves. In some small towns and counties they still have Decoration Day – sometimes on other days besides Memorial Day. Whenever it is done, it is a sobering feeling to realize how many young people have given "their last full measure" to secure our freedom. We should never forget.

    Annie Kate
    Birmingham AL

    May 26, 2008 at 8:56 pm |
  2. cf

    I too love this portion of the show.
    As much negative news CNN tends to show day in and day out, it's heart warming to see an inspiring segment of our brave young women & men.

    My question is are there any minority war heroes? I truly can't tell!
    from this segment!

    How about showing a few?

    May 26, 2008 at 7:39 pm |
  3. Jolene

    Although it is a "day off" for me that I was looking forward to, this particular Memorial Day Holiday has given me the time I don't always have to read the blogs and watch some of the i-Reports being aired this weekend. This post along with those reports has helped me put the true meaning of Memorial Day back into perspective. Thanks.

    Jolene, St. Joseph, MI

    May 26, 2008 at 1:18 pm |
  4. Lorie Ann, Buellton, California

    Let's hope, we all never lose sight of what Memorial Day really means. Our men and women, who serve our country, should never be forgotten on this day or any other, for even one moment. Thank you, to the past and present of the military. A thank you, to you and your families, on this Memorial Day and always.

    Lorie Ann, Buellton, Calif.

    May 26, 2008 at 10:49 am |