In every session of Congress since 1989, Sen. Daniel Inouye (Hawaii) has introduced bills that would restore the nation's observance of Memorial Day to May 30, and to a single day of solemn remembrance, with closed stores, flags and parades, rather than a three-day "sale-a-bration."
"Mr. President, in our effort to accommodate many Americans by making the last Monday in May, Memorial Day, we have lost sight of the significance of this day to our nation. Instead of using Memorial Day as a time to honor and reflect on the sacrifices made by Americans in combat, many Americans use the day as a celebration of the beginning of summer. My bill would restore Memorial Day to May 30 and authorize our flag to fly at half mast on that day. In addition, this legislation would authorize the President to issue a proclamation designating Memorial Day and Veterans Day as days for prayer and ceremonies honoring American veterans. This legislation would help restore the recognition our veterans deserve for the sacrifices they have made on behalf of our nation." - Sen. Daniel Inouye, 1999, Congressional Record, page S621
Once again in the 110th Congress, Sen. Inouye has reintroduced his bill as S.70 - A bill to restore the traditional day of observance of Memorial Day. As in every previous Congress, Inouye's Memorial Day bill has been referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee, where it will likely remain without ever being debated on the floor of the Senate. And in a year when U.S. military deaths in the Iraq war have exceeded 3,400, none of his fellow U.S. Senators have chosen to cosponsor Sen. Inouye's bill to restore honor to the observance of Memorial Day.