Memorial Day: Commemorate or Celebrate?

It’s time to wear white. It’s time to go shopping. What are we missing here? Pop Quiz: why do we celebrate Memorial Day?

If you ask the brands who flood my inbox each year, this holiday is about 40% off sales. No mention of Decoration Day in 1858 after the American Civil War. No mention of visiting the gravestones to set flowers down for the soldiers lost. It’s all about stocking up in the land of buying more.

Photo: Neiman Marcus

Over time, Memorial Day has also come to signify the beginning of summer, and our much beloved summer wardrobes. It’s time to break out our sandals and white shirt to capitalize on our suntans before Labor Day comes around. And if this is on your agenda, brands like Grana, Apolis Global and menswear brand Brothers We Stand are resources we highly recommend.

As Carrie Bradshaw would have probably asked, “I couldn’t help but wonder, are we missing the point?”

Photo: Saks Fifth Avenue

In truth, it’s nothing to joke about. Honoring our fallen soldiers through a moment of reflection is the essence of this long holiday weekend. But when did this holiday become about doorbuster sales over a time of reflection and honor? And further, how can we be expected to remember those who gave their life for our country when our culture just wants to take advantage of our paid time off?

Our Take?

Don’t equate freedom with purchasing power. Our time to reflect is not our time to stock up. When Memorial Day comes around, do the patriotic thing and resist the urge to splurge.

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