Memorial Day is a national U.S. holiday for honoring people who died in war. In 1868, General John Logan said that May 30th would be the holiday. Flowers were placed on the graves of soldiers in Arlington National Cemetery. At first, the purpose of the holiday was to honor the dead soldiers from the Civil War, both Union (north) and Confederate (south). However, many of the southern states did not observe Memorial Day, but established separate holidays for remembering their Civil War dead. Since World War I, all states observe Memorial Day –through parades and ceremonies, visiting cemeteries and telling stories about war heroes and loved ones. However, for many, Memorial Day is “the first day of the summer vacation season.”
What holidays in your native country honor the dead from wars? How do ordinary people spend time on the holiday? What people do you especially honor on such a day?
Is it right to honor the soldiers who fought in a war that a country is not proud of? If so, how do you honor the dead without showing approval of the war?
How do you show honor or respect for someone living or dead in your native culture? Are there certain habits or rituals of behavior, customs, or speech that show honor? Why is one person honored more than another? Here are some possible factors that influence the honor we may give to someone – role, rank, character, past actions, relationship to us. Can you think of other important factors? Which factors have the most influence in your native culture in choosing who is honored more or less?
Are there some people who receive negative honor or dishonor? How is dishonor showed in your native society? What factors lead to dishonor?
Do people seek honor in your native society? If so, how? Do people seek to avoid dishonor in your native society? If so, how? What do people seek more than honor, in their lives? What do people seek to avoid more than dishonor, in their lives?
Is there a strong connection between seeking honor and avoiding dishonor? In other words, if you strongly desire to be honored, do you also strongly avoid dishonor? Explain.
The Jewish law says to honor these:
“Honor your father and your mother . . “ Exodus 20: 12
“You shall rise up before the grayheaded, and honor the aged, and you shall revere your God; I am the Lord.” Leviticus 19:32
**** How do you honor father or mother, or the aged? Do you honor the “aged” even if they are people of bad character or corrupt? Why or why not?