Remembering the real reason for Memorial Day
As we look at the ceremonies going on for the Memorial Day weekend, the controversy continues about if such a weekend should exist.
No one is debating the idea of having a national day of remembrance to honor those who’ve fallen serving their country.
But to many people, Memorial Day is the symbol of summer’s start, or a chance to get a good bargain on a car. What’s lost is its original meaning to many people.
The proponents of the day’s original meaning point to the fact it should always be on May 30, no matter the day of the week, as a way for more people to recall why people made the ultimate sacrifice for their nation.
The Uniform Holidays Bill of 1968 moved the holiday to the last Monday in May. Originally, Veterans Day also was in the list of government holidays slated to always be on a Monday, but it was moved back to its original day of November 11 in 1978.
For Memorial Day, efforts to do so by the VFW, the American Legion and Sen. Daniel Inouye of Hawaii haven’t succeeded so far.
Inouye, now 87, isn’t just a senior member of Congress. He was at Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941 as a medical volunteer. He later enlisted in the Army and lost an arm serving his country while in Italy.
You can read his incredible story below.
Inouye has often introduced bills to make Memorial Day a permanent holiday on May 30th, most recently in January 2012.
The Senate Judiciary committee usually tables the bill so it can’t reach a full debate in the Senate.
We did check the biographies of the 18 Judiciary Committee members on the web site Roll Call. Only four of the 18 committee members served in the military: Lindsey Graham, Herb Kohl, Jeff Sessions and Richard Blumenthal.
Graham was an active-duty Air Force lawyer and he is still a Reserve member. The other three senators served in the reserves.
There’s always a chance that the Senate could debate the bill in the future.
Sen. Inouye doesn’t show any signs of giving up and he’s said he’ll run for re-election again.
It would be a fitting tribute to Inouye and all the veterans who didn’t come back to at least spend a few minutes in public discussion about the subject of the traditional Memorial Day holiday.
Scott Bomboy is the editor-in-chief of Constitution Daily.