Memorial Day – What is the Best Way to Celebrate?

It seems that as a country we get a little further away from the true meaning of Memorial Day every year. At its heart, Memorial Day honors Americans who sacrificed their lives in service to their country. Those brave individuals died protecting our fundamental, inalienable human rights. They deserve to be remembered. However, that remembrance doesn’t necessarily need to be a solemn affair. This holiday is a celebration of life lived without fear. It’s also a validation that soldiers didn’t die in vain.

Need more proof that Memorial Day should be (and is) a celebration? I’ve got some stats for you.

Over 900,000 people will attend Rolling Thunder – the annual Memorial Day motorcycle rally held in Washington, D.C.
Roughly 1.5 million people will watch the national parade on television.
41.4% of Americans are likely to take advantage of this holiday’s shopping deals.
2017 is set to have the highest number of Memorial Day travelers in 12 years according to AAA, with a total of 39.3 million people leaving their homes. That’s a 2.7% increase from 2016.

If you are wondering why those last two made the list, don’t.

Celebrating this holiday isn’t limited to parades and rallies. Why are more people traveling this year? It’s because they feel safe and secure. They have a higher confidence in their ability to take a trip over the long weekend. And that confidence doesn’t come from nowhere.

The same idea holds true for Memorial Day shopping. Higher confidence leads to more spending. Having a big holiday blowout is actually one of the most patriotic things you could do. Soldiers gave their lives in order for Americans to feel secure. Research has shown that when people feel the most secure, they make big purchases. They take advantage of holiday deals. Some may go on vacation. When people feel safe, they enjoy their lives.

Spending time with family, traveling, and making purchases are great ways to celebrate. It proves that our civil liberties and constitutional rights are still intact. It proves that those who died in battle defending the United States fought for something meaningful.

Next year, if you’re debating whether or not to have a Memorial Day sale – my vote is that you jump in with both feet. Plan for the big blowout while also honoring the fallen soldiers. Participate in the National Moment of Remembrance at 3pm. Watch the parade on television. Open your doors wide to potential shoppers. Those are all fantastic ways to honor those fallen soldiers, and to honor the true spirit of the holiday.


Shannon Curtis, the author, will spend her holiday remembering those who died in service while eating a hot dog with her family. Shannon is the Project / Social Media Coordinator at Marketing Keys, a boutique media management firm in the heart of downtown Chicago.