It's so much more then a day off...
Memorial Day is very well explained here...it's a good read to remind us of what the "holiday" is really about and to remember.
For me, I have such vivid memories from my childhood of Memorial Day. I remember my grandma "fixing flowers" for the graves. Her flowers came from her garden and the bushes around her house. There were no plastic flowers from the store. The morning before making the trek out to the cemetery she would prepare mason jars of those flowers to place on the graves. There were pink and white peonies. Blue and white hydrangeas and gorgeous irises in an array of colors; those were my favorite. Oh, and the there were lilacs too, they made the car smell so good.
No, there were no fake flowers delivered by my grandma. Then a few weeks later we returned to retrieve the jars for canning the summers bounty. That's how I remember Decoration day. Sometimes there was a cookout, more often then not though it was a fried chicken dinner with potato salad and slaw. It was a somber time going to the cemetery and then there was lots of sharing and stories about those who had passed on throughout the afternoon and evening.
I think it's good to really be reminded of the reality behind this holiday, it came with high cost, much higher then my generation and those who are coming up behind me realize. Those costs are still being paid today. This "holiday" has become more meaningful the older I get. It's also in part due to MiRVs own military service and my exposure to the ultimate sacrifice paid by those at our last several bases.