Date Swap!

Graduation celebrations, town festivals and picnics filled this Memorial Day weekend. The unofficial kick-off to summer rocked and yet I noticed an underlying somber mood. Americans were reminded of the service men and woman who gave up their lives for our country. I agree that we need to reflect and pay tribute, but Memorial Day and Labor Day are on the wrong weekends. They should be switched!

Fort Logan National Cemetery in Denver, Colorado

When I was a wee child back in Wisconsin, I used to get them mixed up. Okay. I admit it. I have gotten them mixed up as a full-fledged adult. It has never made sense to me that Memorial Day is in May. While students across the land celebrated the last day of school and began their summer break, others mourned loved ones lost while defending our country. Labor Day on the other hand, is a day off from the daily grind and yet it is in September when students and teachers go back to work. Wouldn’t it make sense for Labor Day to be in May and have a three-day weekend purely devoted to pre-summer fun?

According to Wikipedia, Memorial Day began after the Civil War to honor the Union soldiers. After Lincoln’s death in April 1865, several types of services were observed. “Decoration Day” was celebrated on May 30th. The name was officially changed to Memorial Day in 1967.

Labor Day was rushed through Congress in 1894 to avoid a Central Labor Union strike. The CLU proposed the holiday after discovering the annual Labor Festival celebrated in Toronto, Canada. Go Canada!

It wasn’t until 1971, that Congress moved four holidays, including Memorial and Labor Day, to Mondays making them convenient three-day weekends.

Summer is a season of long warm days, nature’s abundance, and travel. The outdoors beckons us. It is teaming with new life. Wouldn’t September be a better time to honor the service men and women who died to protect us?

Memorial Day observed

Back-to-school is already a somber time; for students anyway. I know parents kick up their heels in relief. It signals the end of the summer season. We also mourn all the individuals who died on September 11th. If we celebrated Memorial Day in the beginning of September instead of Labor Day, it would reflect the more serious tone of that time of year.

Like the leaves that begin to fall, it would remind us of the fallen soldiers and the ultimate sacrifice they made for us.

Don’t you think it is time for a 40 year review of these two holidays? I think they should be swapped!

What do you think?

If you live in another country do you celebrate a holiday that should be on a different date?

1st photo by Wikipedia, 2nd by Susie Lindau

98 thoughts on “Date Swap!

Add yours

  1. Hey.. have it in November like we Canadians do (Remembrance Day) and get another day off.. to go to parades, services and school assemblies. It’s much more meaningful!


  2. Sadly, I think that no matter what day Memorial day was celebrated on, it would be most identified with mattress sales.
    Though May is a nicer time for parades than September…


  3. I get them (even present tense) mixed up all the time. The only way I remember is the “Indianapolis 500” race is on Memorial Sunday. Switching would not only work, but be easier for my little brain!


  4. Not sure if it’s deliberate or unintentional, but some times your choice of words for title do spark off interest! 🙂
    We do celebrate Veteran’s day in fall to honor serviceman, I won’t have problem swapping the dates, agree with you there.
    Two other dates also fall in the same month that I feel should be far apart Election Day early Nov & followed by Thanksgiving Day Late Nov. I think it sends wrong signal to the rest of the word about our gratitude 🙂


  5. You are smart beyond smart. I never thought of that, but I love it. However, the less sunny days and all the sad, seasonal affect disorders, would have a celebratory day marking the beginning of the winter, ha! You’ll need an act of congress changing that. Out with the old and in with the new :)))!!!


  6. I never knew the Labour festival in Toronto went back so far. See, you learn something new everyday and i think it goes to show that sometimes you learn more about the city you live in from people not living in your city.


    1. I didn’t know the origins of Memorial or Labor Day until I wrote this! Who knew that it was because of Canada and an impending strike???
      I am sure there is still a lot to learn about Colorado.
      Thanks so much Janet!


  7. Dang! From the title, I thought this had something to do with wild sex on double dates. Oh, well. . .

    Actually, you make a lot of sense. Let’s do it. Maybe when Piper gets in the White House she can get the dates changed.


    1. There you go! We will slip it through Congress with their help!
      Sorry about the misleading title. I think it got a lot of reader’s attention and yet once you read it, you can see that it is exactly what I am talking about. Date Swap!


  8. Date swapping, wife swapping; hey it’s all the same deal to me, and I’m enthusiastically in favor of it!

    Wait a minute… I think I just replied to the wrong blog post, so just forget everything about what I just said. Uhmm… yeah, I guess that I’d be cool with switching those holidays around. Cause I’m just easy to get along with like that, and you should thank me! Lol 🙂


      1. Happy to make you laugh! 🙂 My wife knows EVERYTHING about me, but I know that she also wishes that she could develop amnesia for least a good 40% of what she knows about me! Lol


  9. I think you’re right, and like you, I always get the two days confused. As a kid Labor Day ALWAYS depressed me for I dreaded returning to school. This entire post resonates on many levels.


    1. Oh! Thank you! Another kindred spirit! I have always thought that it was weird that Labor Day which is all about getting a day off from work was at the time of year when most go back to work.
      If Congress changed the days in 1971, they can swap ’em in 2013!


  10. Miami is now 51% foreign born and they could not give a hoot about the history of these commemorative occasions. First and second generations have more allegiance to their own cultures as well. You would think that Veterans Day would be a common denominator for all. Not so in Miami. Your discussion would never take place here as they would not know what you are talking about. It is obvious that you live in part of America. I don’t.


    1. Yep! I am in the heart of the Country – Colorado! I guess there is a chance that at least 40% would know what I was talking about in Miami…coffee cup half full…. 🙂
      Thanks Carl!


  11. In Canada we have November 11th which is called Armistice Day/ Remembrance Day where all that fought in the wars are remembered. There is no other day. I get confused between the two US ones.


    1. November 11th is Veterans Day in the US too! It sounds like they are combined in Canada. Memorial Day is for all those who died in service to our country.
      Go Canada!


  12. You’re right and the symbolism woundn’t be lost on children. Another thing, I think we should have fireworks on Memorial Day. One roll of thunder for all those who a marching on a greater parade ground.


  13. That’s a good idea, Susie, and I never thought of it that way. I always figured Cinco de Mayo might be a good summer kickoff, since it seems to be less about the independence of Mexico and more about drinking beer and margaritas anyway. 😛


    1. So funny! It used to be bigger in our area, but I think a lot of Mexicans left the area during the recession.
      Our first week of May can be snowy! Not this year. It has been summerlike for a while. 🙂
      Thanks Heather!


  14. I guess that I am the dissenters voice. I think that memorial day should be where it is. As we celebrate the end of another school year, the beginning of Summer and all its wonders we should remember those who have made it possible. While we may morn their passing we should celebrate their lives and the lives they have given us.

    I think that Memorial Day can can be the beginning of a long celebration that ends in the fireworks of the 4th of July. I’d rather party for a month than a day.


    1. Party on girl! Why stop at the 4th of July? 🙂 Kidding!
      I am glad that we have two holidays where we pay our respects to those who sacrifice for us. I am very thankful for all service men and women and the sacrifice they make for us.
      Thanks for reading!


    1. I have heard that others get it confused too. I guess It always seemed logical that Labor Day, being a day off from work, would be the official start to summer! We are just deep thinkers Kathryn!


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