Memorial Day was originally known as "Decorating Day," so named as war widows of the American Civil War would decorate the graves of their fallen soldier husbands.
I have been requiring my family to watch the 1952 documentary series "Victory at Sea" with me. Although the 26 episodes are a bit heavy on the violins of the NBC Orchestra, this documentary series was comprised of footage from all participants in World War II and is, I imagine, historically very accurate, as this series was put together only a few years after the final German surrender in May, 1945, and the survivors involved in these horrible events were very much alive. If I can look beyond the black-and-white nostalgia and listen beyond those screeching violins and whining piccolos, I only see very young men and massive, massive destruction.
Today, I have the feeling that most Americans see Memorial Day as a day of hotdogs and clearance sales. However, in 2000, a resolution was passed to observe a Moment of Remembrance at 3:00 pm on Memorial Day. Just a moment. One little moment. 3:00 pm. Can you remember?