Memorial Day is a day in the United States that has been set aside to honor those who died serving in the armed forces of the US. It was originally established in 1868 for May 30th, to honor those lost in the US Civil War. In that war, almost 10% of the adult male population died, so there wasn’t a family in the country that wasn’t touched by the conflict. Often families lost multiple members, and the need to mourn the dead and honor the sacrifice was felt by all family members.
The holiday continued from 1868 to 1970 to be celebrated on May 30th, no matter which day of the week it fell on. In 1971 it was changed to the last Monday of the month of May, to enable folks to have a 3-day weekend. I’m still of two minds here, because I tend to believe by making these kind of changes (President’s weekend, Labor Day weekend) we weaken the actual reason why we are having the memorial holiday. That is one of the reason I’m glad that US Veteran’s Day (to celebrate military veterans) still falls on November 11th. The date marks the end of World War 1 (the great war) which ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. Let’s keep it that way.
For many folks, Memorial Day marks the start of summer. Kids look forward to summer vacation, and many folks start taking holidays and travel. For many of these folks, stuck in their 9-5 existence, this is the only time they get to enjoy their free time. For the FIRE community, we’ve reached the point where we can take time off when we want, any time of the year. We aren’t tied down to when/if our boss can let us go.
At least that is where I hope to be shortly (13 months!). We spent the weekend visiting some of Mrs. 39 Months family. Her brother and sister-in-law both retired about 5 years ago, and true to form, they’ve now started volunteering at various spots (their daughter works at a museum, and the helping out there), exploring new interests (the wife has
joined two bands with her oboe) and traveling (her brothers are both heading to Nepal this fall to hike to Everest base camp & back).
Today, we’re going to be with friends for a “bad movie night” (I’ve written about it before). Good friends and good times.
Hopefully you are enjoying your time this weekend!
Mr. 39 Months