Today is Memorial Day, a United States federal holiday formerly known as Decoration Day. It commemorates U.S. men and women who died while in the military service. Personally, I think it would be cool if it were still called Decoration Day. I'd take full advantage of the semantics of "decoration", and take a major field trip day to the homes of two of my besties: Jo-Ann's and Michael's. I would swallow my inevitable trepedation which arises whenever I'm within 100 yards of either places. I'd walk head-on into the crafty madness, and bravely dedicate my day to Decoration. For the war heroes, of course. Foam balls, yarn, glitter glue, fabric paint, boas, baskets, frames, cardboard, hot glue, you name it, I'm on it. Let's celebrate the day in style...and nothing says style like an airbrushed t-shirt with rhinestone trim.
The real reason for my post is not to discuss Memorial Day. I think it's an awesome holiday mainly because we get a Monday off smack dab in the beginning of summer, and pools open everywhere...but that's where the glory ends.
What I really want to take time to observe today is Martin Luther King, Jr. I was looking at, of all things, my trash-pick-up schedule yesterday, and I noticed something interesting. We have two or three major, *major* holidays....Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years. Those are given days where you know folks are taking the word "holiday" to heart. In addition to these work respites, we get Labor Day and Memorial Day...conveniently positioned on our calendar to mark the beginning and end of pool season (which, by the way, is extremely intelligent and practical use of two Holiday-mondays. Someone was really thinking here.)
The ONLY other major holiday where trash is not collected (the true mark of an *important* holiday) is Martin Luther King Day. Now, when I noticed this, I had to look twice. Martin Luther King? Really? Now come on...all of our major holidays serve to commemorate people like Jesus and the pilgrims...who is the MLK guy that he's ranked up there with Christ and the founders of our country?
So I did some research. Found nothing life-changing, only noticed that MLK Day has been a huge source of controversy in the political realm for quite some time, and wasn't nationally observed at all until about 1986.
I'm not complaining, of course. I'll take any excuse for a Monday off. I just find it interesting - and perhaps most interesting of all is the role Mr. John McCain has played in first opposing, and later working to promote this holiday as one of national observance. Sounds a little wishy-washy to me. Makes me feel a little better about my vote this past November.
I'm just waiting for the day Oprah gets her own Monday. She is arguably more influential - with fabulous shoes, yet.