United States

Memorial Day: A Day of Remembrance


It’s Memorial Day here in the U.S., and while many of us celebrate this annual holiday with time off from work, shopping the sales offered by some of our favorite retailers and backyard barbeques, the real meaning of the holiday is sometimes forgotten. 

Memorial Day is observed on the last Monday of May in America. It originated following the Civil War as a way of honoring servicemen and women who died while serving in the U.S. military. It became a federal holiday in 1971.

While there are dozens of ways you can honor America’s fallen heroes this Memorial Day, there are a few things you might want to avoid in keeping with the spirit of the day:

  • Don’t wish anyone a “Happy Memorial Day.” Memorial Day was established as a way for the country to honor the troops who had given their lives in service to America.
  • Don’t thank current troops. While active military certainly deserve respect and gratitude, Veteran’s Day, which falls in November (Thursday, Nov. 11, to be exact), is set aside to remember and appreciate the sacrifices of all veterans - living and deceased. Memorial Day focuses on those service members who gave their lives protecting our country – an important distinction.
  • Don’t disregard the day’s importance. While it’s certainly fine to enjoy a backyard barbeque or to take advantage of some of the sales that have become synonymous with the holiday, remember to honor those servicemen and women who gave the ultimate sacrifice.

As the national leader of RSM’s VALOR employee network group, I hope you’ll join our 13,000+ people across the U.S. as we reflect on the true meaning of Memorial Day, and as we express our appreciation to those who made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty.

Adrian Romero
National VALOR Employee Network Group Leader




VALOR focuses on recruitment, community service, leadership development and business development of our military service members.