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Memorial Day Infographic & Recap: Commercialism Run Amok

*** UPDATED ***

What did you do Memorial Day weekend to honor America's fallen heroes?

Hopefully, most of us remembered and observed the historic significance of this revered national holiday, rather than simply focusing on roadtrips, barbeques and superficial sales at the local mall.

It's unfortunate that commercialism appears to be on equal par with so many national holidays. What does this say about the American people in general and private industry in particular? 

Commercialism & Materialism

When it comes to Memorial Day and similar national holidays, it's distasteful -- if not disgraceful -- that America's love affair with commercialism and materialism have become even more important to some people than the actual holidays.

This sets an especially bad example for young people -- including Gen Y/millennials -- who are already overly infatuated with the latest high tech gadgets and material values, arguably to the detriment of America's true core values.

Would it be so terrible for retailers and advertisers to self-regulate by ignoring the profit motive on sacred U.S. holidays? (such as Memorial Day, Veteran's Day, Independence Day, etc.).

The Federal Government closes.

State and Local Governments close.

The U.S. Stock Exchange and Wall Street close.

Many large private sector employers cease operating (at least to some extent).

Thus why can't the retail and advertising industries send an important message by doing the same?

Close shop and give employees the day off. Do so in respect and observance of deceased service members whose uncommon valor teach immortal lessons for every generation.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau (see infographic below):

  • "Memorial Day honors over one million American men and women who have died in military service since the Civil War."

Hopefully, many of us made sure to stop and take time over the holiday weekend to pay tribute to all the brave military men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice for America -- and for us all.

Hopefully, most of us remembered this Memorial Day -- and every day -- that the U.S. Armed Forces are an honorable institution for which we owe a huge debt of gratitude (even if some aspects of the military arguably remain imperfect).

So many brave military men and women throughout history not only served our nation with honor and distinction, but also paid the ultimate price for it.

America's fallen heroes and their families deserve respect and recognition not only on Memorial Day, but every day.

It's the least we can do to show our infinite gratitude for their ultimate sacrifice.

Below is a Memorial Day infographic from the U.S. Census Bureau...

Also check out the following information resources:


* Note: all views and opinions expressed herein are those of the author only.

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Tags: Memorial Day, citizen engagement, communications, holiday, human resources, leadership, military, tribute, veterans


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Comment by David B. Grinberg on May 30, 2013 at 4:06pm

Thanks for chiming in, Phuoung and Henry. 

I hope you both had a good Memorial Day weekend and participated in, observed and/or commemorated the holiday appropriately. 

Please don't tell me you went on a shopping spree or bought a new car (lol). 

Comment by Henry Brown on May 30, 2013 at 4:00pm

May be a dollar short and a day late but... although it has been on Amazon's site since 2009

FREE MP3 Downloads Veterans Day Honor: The Bands and Ensembles of the US Armed Forces: MP3 Downloads

Comment by Phuong Le Callaway, PhD on May 27, 2013 at 2:02pm
Thank you David for sharing this educational piece!

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