FOX 9 News
May 28, 2017
Veterans groups say a growing military-civilian disconnect contributes to a feeling that Memorial Day has been overshadowed. More than 12 percent of the U.S. population served in the armed forces during World War II. That's down to less than one-half of a percent today, guaranteeing more Americans aren't personally acquainted with a soldier, sailor, airman or Marine.ANNVILLE, Pa. (AP) -- Allison Jaslow heard it more than once as the long holiday weekend approached -- a cheerful "Happy Memorial Day!" from oblivious well-wishers.
The former Army captain and Iraq War veteran had a ready reply, telling them, matter-of-factly, that she considered it a work weekend. Jaslow will be at Arlington National Cemetery on Monday to take part in the annual wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. She'll then visit Section 60, the final resting place of many service members who died in Iraq and Afghanistan.
"You can see it in people's faces that they're a little horrified that they forget this is what the day's about," said Jaslow, 34, who wears a bracelet bearing the name of a fallen comrade. "Culturally, we've kind of lost sight of what the day's supposed to mean."
While millions of Americans celebrate the long Memorial Day weekend as the unofficial start of summer -- think beaches and backyard barbecues, mattress sales and sporting events -- some veterans and loved ones of fallen military members wish the holiday that honors more than 1 million people who died serving their country would command more respect.
"It hurts," Duffy said. For combat veterans and Gold Star families especially, "it hurts that, as a society, we don't truly understand and appreciate what the true meaning of Memorial Day is."
read more here