Actually now more like Memorial Weekend in the US where it has become a tradition for families to have large gatherings a bit like those on thanksgiving but for an entirely different reason.
Like Rememberence Day here in the UK and Anzac Day in the Antipodes it is a day that Americans celebrate their own heroes, originally just about those who fell in the Civil War it became like most of these days more about all the fallen not just those in one particular war or battle.
In many places it also extends to a general expression of memory for anyone whether they served in the military or not.
As far as I’m concerned what makes this year more memorable than others to me is the fact that the Indianapolis 500, one of the great motor sport events, run each year on the Sunday before Memorial Day, didn’t have it’s champion defending his title.
Dan Wheldon was a British racing driver who raced in his early years alongside Jenson Button but rather than like Jenson who moved towards Formula 1 he instead took the trip across the pond and competed in several circuit events in lower classes before reaching and excelling at IndyCar winning the aforementioned Indy 500 twice including last year. He was a sporting hero to many fans the world over including his adopted home of America.
However in October last year, Dan lost his life racing in Las Vegas taking on a chalenge that with hindsight was madness – but in a way just like his armed forces compatriots, racing drivers are fearless when presented with challenge and adversity.
I can’t directly compare the two roles but what I can do on this Memorial Day is take a moment to remember that the world needs heroes of all types – people we can aspire to, people who make the world a better and more enjoyable place.