The Lost Meaning of Memorial Day


Jessica Rizzo

Memorial Day. A day to remember the men and women who have died for our country while serving in the United States military. A day to visit the graves of our passed loved ones who put their lives on the line to fight for our freedoms. A day to spend time with family members and give thanks for relatives who have served. A day that has become an excuse for teenagers and college students to party and completely disregard the original intent of the day.

If I’m being honest, I had to google what Memorial Day commemorated to double check what I thought the day celebrated was correct. Memorial Day has become a very overlooked holiday for people in my generation, and I admit, I am guilty of not appreciating the day for its true value, even though both of my late grandfathers were World War II veterans. So why has the day lost its meaning amongst my age group?

For one, many of my peers refer to Memorial Day weekend as simply “Mem.” While this may not appear to be a big deal, people who use this term are unintentionally misinterpreting the true meaning of the day. “Mem” sounds like a lame band name, not the name we use for the day to commemorate the veterans who have fought valiantly for our country. Emphasizing the importance of the day begins with simply referring to May 27, 2019 as Memorial Day instead of  “Mem.” In addition, since Memorial Day weekend kicks off the summer season, it has become a justification for teenagers to go to the Jersey Shore and let loose. While teenagers have every right to have a little fun and blow off some steam, the weekend we use to remember those who lost their lives serving in the military does not seem to be the best time to do this.


The purpose of this article is not to stop or condemn your fun Memorial Day festivities; I just want to bring awareness to the meaning of Memorial Day and make sure you spend some of your weekend thinking about what the day is celebrating. Remember that we would not have the freedoms we have today without our brave soldiers who put their lives on the line for us day after day. They don’t have the opportunity to spend the holiday weekend with their friends and family like we have. If there is anything you take away from this article let it be this: don’t take Memorial Day for granted.