Hanabusa hopes to change Memorial Day holiday - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Hanabusa hopes to change Memorial Day holiday

Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa
Brock McNabb, Army combat veteran Brock McNabb, Army combat veteran
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

Memorial Day weekend has become synonymous with barbeques, department store sales and the unofficial start of summer. But Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa wants to change that.

The Memorial Day holiday first began exactly 150 years ago to remember those who died fighting in the civil war. Over time it recognized those who died in any war although for some that tradition has also died.

More than 1.3 million Americans have died in combat. Memorial Day is meant to remember their sacrifice. So to see so many doing anything other than that on the holiday doesn't make much sense to veterans.

"When someone says Happy Memorial Day, boy there is just nothing happy about it. It is a day to be somber, it is a day to remember those who have fallen. Quite frankly it's not about those of us who are still alive, it's about those who fell, and that's what makes the day so special and why it should stand on its own," said Brock McNabb, Army combat veteran.

McNabb now counsels other veterans and has just enlisted with the Air Force. He says he's seen the horror of war.

"When you lose friends, you lose loved ones, you lose buddies what ends up happening is you remember them every day," said McNabb.

So it's not too much to ask Americans to set aside Memorial Day for its true meaning. Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa agrees.

"It's not just a three day weekend it is in fact in honor of very brave and courageous people who gave us the ultimate sacrifice," said Representative Colleen Hanabusa, (D) Hawaii, District 1.

Memorial Day switched to the last Monday in May in 1971 after Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act making it law to attach certain holidays to weekends to give federal workers more three day weekends.

Thursday Rep. Hanabusa will introduce a bill to restore the original intent of Memorial Day. That means moving it back to the original day of May 30th every year. It's legislation late Senator Daniel Inouye introduced each year since 1989.

"I'm not sure that if Senator wasn't successful that I can say I will be successful. I think what we need to do is bring it to people's attention so that the conversation starts," said Rep. Hanabusa.

It's something to remember next Memorial Day.

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