While this holiday has come to be seen as the traditional kick-off to the summer season, as I've aged, I don't see it that way anymore.
For me, it's a somber day of reflection and remembrance of those soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice to give us the country we have today, and which we are in danger of losing if the money-grubbing politicians cannot be stopped from catering to mega-corporations. I hope the sacrifices of all those war dead will not have been in vain.
A little known fact is that Memorial Day began just a month after the end of the Civil War, back in 1865. It was organized by black veterans of that war, to honor their own dead who had fought with the Union to end slavery, but who had been overlooked in the run-of-the-mill, business-as-usual post-war celebrations.