What I noticed first about American holidays is that they always fall on a Monday. Memorial Day is one such holiday, which usually falls on the last Monday of May. (This year it's early).
While Memorial Day gives Americans a chance to remember and honor those who served during any of the past and ongoing wars - World War I, Korea, World War II, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq - the holiday is also considered the official start of the summer season. Summer now runs through Labor Day, another Monday holiday that signals the beginning of school and the end of summer fun.
For average people, both holidays are filled with family get-togethers and cookouts. We are going to Albie's parents today, for example, to enjoy a nice meal. Perhaps we'll barbecue on the patio, perhaps we'll hang out inside (it is quite warm out).
But we will eat, laugh, and remember those who are no longer with us.