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A History of Memorial Day

Unity, Discord and the Pursuit of Happiness


Richard P. Harmond and Thomas J. Curran

A History of Memorial Day is a study of how Memorial Day was viewed by many Americans as a vehicle of both national and international unity. However, this study also examines the surprising amount of controversy elicited by the celebration of Memorial Day, finding that a substantial number of Americans value Memorial Day more as a holiday from work and an occasion for recreation and relaxation than as a time to honor the country’s fallen heroes.