Search This Blog

Monday, May 28, 2012

Social Media and Memorial Day

USA Today reports:
Memorial Day is not just unforgettable: Thanks to Facebook it's also inescapable.

Salutes to troops past and present will be showing up every few seconds, this weekend, if the pace of posting is anything like Memorial Day 2011. Experts and everyday Facebook users say the social media Goliath has rearranged our thinking of how to mark this and every other holiday.
Few Americans still mark the original way to celebrate Memorial Day with a visit to a veteran's grave. TheDepartment of Veterans Affairs predicts more than 100,000 visitors to National Cemeteries this Monday, about the same as 2011. But there are 117 events for real time visits listed on the National Cemeteries Facebook Page, which has 3,389 likes.
Social media aren't necessarily to blame for the shift in observance. Given the mobile society, few people live near their own loved ones' graves any more.
Kate Pitrone writes at First Things:
I have heard it said that if you do not have family, close family, serving in the military, then your attitude toward government, and especially U.S. involvement in war and military conflict, will be quite different from those of us in that position. On Memorial Day, theoretically, we come together as a nation to remember those who have been lost while performing military service. I do not quite see that grand unity nor believe it. Memorial Day means something different to me than it will to you, if you do not have close family in military service. I have two sons currently serving, as well as one son and a daughter-in-law who are veterans. For me and my house, Memorial Day is to honor others, but is really about what has not happened to us, but what we dread happening.
I do not say what we fear, because if we lived in that fear, we could not live. Memorial Day reminds me of what my sons might risk and what the children of other military parents face and fear. The Marine Corps social media folks sent us a wonderful speech made by Lieutenant General John Kelly, USMC, in February,of this year to Gold Star Families You will find it moving. As a military mother, I found it terrifying.