Here's how the creation of Memorial Day was described in General Orders No. 11, Washington, DC, May 5, 1868.
The 30th of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village, and hamlet church-yard in the land. In this observance no form of ceremony is prescribed, but posts and comrades will in their own way arrange such fitting services and testimonials of respect as circumstances may permit.
I believe we have strayed from that original intention, and I am not alone in that belief. Please read the words of Marine Corps veteran, Jennie Haskamp in her article entitled, I am a veteran, and I hate 'Happy Memorial Day.' Here's why.
I wish you a Thoughtful Memorial Day.