Once again Senator Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii) has tried to get Memorial Day restored to its original date, May 30. Right after the first of the year, he got right on it, as he’s done every single year since 1989. Within days, according to Congressional records, the bill was “Read twice and referred to the Committee on the Judiciary,” where it still sits.
Beginning in 1868, Memorial Day was celebrated on May 30. It was a sacred day when the sole purpose was to put flowers on the graves of those who’d given their lives in battle during the Civil War. After World War I, it was expanded to include all veterans who’d died in war. It was only in 1971 that the date was changed to be the last Monday in May. Easier for government workers, I guess, to get a full three-day weekend off. (If they want a replacement for Memorial Day, why not make Armed Forces Day into a long weekend?)
In 2000 we were given “The National Moment of Remembrance Act,” where, I assume, people all across the country stop what they’re doing at 3 p.m. local time. Its purpose is to “promote greater understanding of the meaning of the Memorial Day holiday.”
If “a moment” is not enough, and if you want to speak up and either call or send e-mail to voice your opinion about restoring Memorial Day to its original date, go to www.judiciary.senate.gov for info on the Judiciary Committee, where Inouye’s bill still languishes. I did a search for “restore Memorial Day” on its site and found nothing. Or you can thank Inouye for his efforts. His Congressional office number is 202-224-3934.