Remembering What Memorial Day Is All About
For years, Memorial Day weekend for me meant driving up the turnpike to a cemetery in northeastern Pennsylvania. But this time, I didn’t go, and it took getting some holiday email to make me realize what I was missing most.
So let me explain. It was kind of an obligation I accepted, to go and tend the graves of my mom’s side of the family. I would pack my pruning shears, a garden trowel, and a watering can. Somewhere along the way, I’d stop for flowers to plant. And, I’d buy some new flags for those relatives who served and died for our country.
My brother took care of all that this year. But my guilt at not going returned, thanks to a few of the dozens of Memorial Day email campaigns from the last couple of weeks.
Most email is about sales, the start of summer, a three-day weekend, etc. You see lots of images of barbeques and beaches. And there’s nothing wrong with that. That kind of Memorial Day email works well.
And, sure, there’s some red, white and blue, or stars-and-stripes in the designs to create a patriotic feeling. There may be a brief message about supporting our men and women in the military. But email that talks at length about who the holiday commemorates is pretty scarce.
One exception that stopped me cold was an article I saw in LG’s May newsletter, “Life’s Goodness.” The teaser asked: “[D]o you really know what Memorial Day is all about?” The story recounted how the holiday began in the 19th century as Decoration Day, to remember the dead from the Civil War.
Another electronics marketer, Sol Harari of DAK Industries, took a slightly different tack. His email linked to a Memorial Day quiz on his company’s website. He also offered this perfect sentiment: “Personally, the more I learn about our rich history, the more connected I feel to our values, our country and our people.”