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Monday, May 25, 2015

Commercialism Of Memorial Day

Do you know what I hate?

It's the commercialism of Memorial Day as celebrated by the U.S.

Despite being a Canadian, I like and respect the United States of America.

While there are many things to like about my cousins to the south of the true North America (Canada, aka USA Jr.), I have always truly admired their patriotism.

It doesn't border on fanaticism, but it is something that all its citizens are keenly aware of and respect (for the most part).

Which brings me to Memorial Day.

Memorial Day is a U.S. federal holiday designed to honor those people who have died while serving its military.

Canada, like much of Europe and other Commonwealth countries, honors its fallen via Remembrance Day on November 11. It's a very solemn occasion. Although businesses are open, we make time during the day to stop whatever we are doing and salute the dead with a moment of silent respect. There no Remembrance Day sales. And that's fine by us.

So WTF is up with Memorial Day in the U.S.?

Memorial Day is the last Monday of May, so its actual date floats around the calendar a bit, but what it stands for shouldn't.

While I am sure the various military branches and towns and cities throughout the U.S. are very respectful of the day and what it stands for, how come retailers are not?

What's up with all the effing sales?

Yes, I'm sure I would like to save a few dollars on my car purchase, sofa, and even on my freedom fries... but to use Memorial Day as the springboard for such crass commercialism?

For shame! Shame!

Shame on everyone offering sales and deals on anything on such a solemn day.

Shame on those who try and save a buck on such a solemn day.

The fighting men and women who died fighting for global freedom - for all these life liberty and pursuit of happiness ideals you yearn for and have - to celebrate their sacrifice in such a crass manner is disrespectful beyond contempt. You might as well go and spit on the flag, ol Glory, herself.

This is MEMORIAL day… a day to REMEMBER and pay one's respects.

You don't have to have actually lost anyone during any particular conflict - you just need to show respect for those that did.

Have a picnic, be with your family. Be with friends. Watch some fireworks, if you will. And pay your respects.

But… paying respects by offering deals to sell your products or services? That's just crass!

Maybe retailers COULD provide special deals to actual serving military personnel and their immediate families… to thank them for their sacrifice in protecting your borders. But these folks are Veterans (Veterans Day honors the living who have previously served), and this isn't their day. It's a day to honor the dead who died wearing a military uniform.

The dead.

The dead shouldn't shouldn't have their memory desecrated by mega retailers seeking greater profits. What… do you think they are doing this to honor the fallen? No… they are doing this to grease their own pockets.

And anytime you have made a purchase thanks to a 'Memorial Day sale', you have fallen into their trap.

I'm not picking on any one retailer in particular, but I like how Walmart's tag line (in the FIRST page of my internet search engine, image above) states one should "Live better."

Yeah… all you dead people who gave your life for America and the concept of freedom… Walmart wants you to 'live better'.

It's not just Walmart, it's damn near EVERY American retailer.

As in any war, there are always profiteers. This, in my opinion, is no different.

Stop trying to capitalize on people's greed and your own! If you didn't need a twin bed two weeks ago, you don't need to get one on this date.

While this may be what America has become, it's not what it was founded on.

Even I, a stupid Canadian, know that.

Wake up, America! Stop celebrating Memorial Day with commercialism. Honor it.

And yeah, I know you enjoy all of those Rights given to you in the Constitution, and all those other ones via Amendments, but the right to dishonor the military fallen? I'm know that's not in there.

Hey look... U.S. retailers have every right to hawk their wares, and they have every right to offer you all fantastic Memorial Day savings. You also have the right to tell them that's not patriotic by not purchasing products listed as such.

I used wish Canadians were half as patriotic as Americans... now, I'm not so sure.

Do you know what I hate?

It's the commercialism of Memorial Day.

Tsk. Tsk.

Andrew Joseph
I know this has nothing to do with Japan, but I get a larger market share here than I do with my You Know What I Hate? blog - where this is also published.

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