As a marketer, I encourage my clients to tie into natural sales building events and time periods such as holidays, but as an American and Christian I struggle with the amount of commercialism on Memorial Day Weekend and throughout the Christmas and Easter seasons.

As you know, the purpose of Memorial Day is to honor America’s war dead. The intent of this holiday that originated in
the U.S. after the Civil War as “Decoration Day,” was to be a time for grateful
citizens to lay flowers at the graves of those killed in battle.

These memorials and monuments act as symbols of our respect and reverence,

Here is a list and brief review of the America’s 15 most visited memorials as reported by Forbes Traveler.

The first memorial I ever visited was the American Cemetery in Normandy.

Normandy impacted me – the pain I felt was overwhelming – thinking about all of those young lives sacrificed for my freedom – I was and still am so honored. I took a large pine cone from the cemetery which is still in my office after eight years and see it practically everyday and say a prayer for those heroes of mine.

What you find throughout Europe (stated in article too) is that you see more of the bad things of war – the destruction, the pain, the brutality – whereas is America you don’t. And, we should because I think American Memorials (with all due respect to our heroes) do not shed enough light of the horrors of war. If they did, maybe we’d think twice or maybe 20, 50, 100 times more before we consider sending our kids to war.

This Memorial Day instead of buying something you don’t really need, buy a wreath and lay it on a grave of a veteran you know or do not know.  Or simply visit and share a prayer. In your travels, do yourself and your family a big favor and honor those who bought our freedom with their lives and visit and pay homage.

America’s Most Visited Memorials (source, Forbes Traveler)

1. Arlington Cemetery, Monuments and Memorials, Washington, D.C., 4 million visitors

2. World War II Memorial, Washington, D.C., 3,547,583 visitors

3. Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Washington, D.C., 3,538,479 visitors

4. Korean War Veterans Memorial, Washington, D.C., 3,208,690 visitors

5. Gettysburg National Military Park, Penn., 1,702,764 visitors

6. USS Arizona Memorial, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, 1,539,986 visitors

7. Valley Forge National Historic Park, Penn., 1,230,618 visitors

8. Minute Man National Historic Park, Concord, Mass., 1,093,352 visitors

9. Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park, Ga. & Tenn., 923,061 visitors

10. Fort Sumter National Monument, S.C., 792,933 visitors
11. Vicksburg National Military Park, Miss., 787,831 visitors

12. Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine, Md., 610,599 visitors

13. Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park, Va., 478,109 visitors

14. Guilford Courthouse, National Military Park, N.C., 447,469 visitors

15. Shiloh National Military Park, Tenn. & Miss., 344,438 visitors