The Real Meaning of Memorial Day in the U.S.

There is a foolproof way to tell when Memorial Day approaches every year: Car dealerships and mattress stores flood the airwaves advertising their Memorial Day discounts; also, grocery stores start running low on hot dog buns and seasonal allergies are in full swing.

For millions of Americans, Memorial Day signals the start of the summer season… And nothing more.

As a young infantryman, this thought used to bother me: Don’t these people know what’s been lost? Don’t they know what we’ve had to give up for their cookouts and golf?