In the United States, Monday is the Memorial Day holiday, a day set aside to remember those who died in military service. Memorial Day began first to honor Union soldiers who died during the American Civil War. After World War I, it was expanded to include those who died in any war or military action.
Traditional observations include visiting veterans cemeteries and memorials. These days, most view the three day weekend as a chance for barbeques, car races and family gatherings. The price of gas jumps up as millions of Americans (including myself) drive to get away.
With mounting war deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan, many Americans are again remembering the solemnity of Memorial Day observances. Enjoying the high consumption American way of life requires the sacrifices of young men and women half a world away, and whatever your politics I encourage you to do what you can to minimize the necessity of these sacrifices.