In 2003, Verizon Wireless spent $880,000,000 dollars to institutionalize “Can You Hear Me Now.” McDonald’s “dah dah dah dah dah, I’m Lovin It” us to death to the tune of $673,000,000 the same year. So I find it somewhat amusing that some folks in Washington are frustrated that spending 1.5 million dollars (that’s total for operations and marketing!) over 5 years hasn’t moved the needle to get people to include a thirty second moment of remembrance to Memorial Day celebrations.
There's a logo, pens and coasters, prewritten news articles and television spots even a song. There have been events, like a sand-sculpture display inspired by D-Day. I don’t know about you but I’ve been pretty busy the past few years and I must have missed the memo. Maybe it goes back to the National Holiday Act of 1971 when Memorial Day (originally called Decoration Day) was moved from May 30th to the last Monday of the month to give us another 3-day weekend.
I think a moment of remembrance is a great idea, but it takes more than a ton of money to launch a new idea. Even as a holiday Memorial Day took some time to catch on. First observed after the Civil War in the mid-1860’s it wasn’t until 1873 when all Northern States had proclaimed the holiday. The Southern States refused to recognize the day until after World War 1 when it became a time to honor the dead of all wars, not just the Civil War.
We should remember those who have fallen in all wars with a moment of silence. But the moment of remembrance will be an uphill battle, much more difficult than say institutionalizing a moment of silence the morning of every September 11th. But I’ve always admired people who battle giants and I'll observe 30 seconds of silence at 3 p.m. this Monday.