Nowadays it's the long weekend that starts the summer season. Trips to the lake, grilling out, and cold beer push the original meaning aside. Few take flowers to the graves anymore, which is a damn shame. The Fallen deserve a day of remembrance.
This weekend, we are called to reflect on these fallen. Art at its best is there to help lead the way. Classical music used to offer many selections for solemn days like this before it was degraded like all modern art. Fortunately, Classical music has found a niche where it yet thrives, with talented composers writing new music for the cinema. Perhaps the greatest of these in our age is John Williams. He wrote this for the film Saving Private Ryan, where it played during the final credits. This is a tour of those graves. Sadly, many Americans have not been to any of these places.
The Fallen remain forever 20 years old. Remember them tomorrow as you fire up your grill. I don't think they - or the boys from Gettysburg or Fredericksburg or Cold Harbor or Pearl Harbor or Normandy or a thousand other hallowed grounds - would begrudge you your family enjoyment. But remember them.
That's what Memorial Day is about.
* It is vulgarly called the "Civil War". It wasn't. The South didn't want to take over the North, it wanted to leave it.