Every year Americans take off work, spark up the barbecue, open their wallets and head to the stores to save money on Memorial Day sales. Everything from mattresses to cars are marked down in honor of Memorial Day, or in honor of those who served or whatever the excuse is for that company to make a buck.
First off, lets be clear; sales are a way for companies to make money. Period. End of story. We don’t have sales because we want to give the consumer a break or to be nice, we (the collective we of companies) have sales to make money. Sales allow us to move inventory that may be stagnant or help to drive consumer to websites or storefronts to make larger purchases because they feel as though they are getting a deal. Sales are great for everyone; we make money, you guys save money. However, let’s not have any misconceptions about it, sales are designed to make money.
Now, Memorial Day is a federal holiday that honors those who died while serving our country in the armed forces. Let’s word that differently. Memorial Day is one day a year, that we as citizens pay homage to the men and women who gave their lives for our freedoms and way of life. It’s not Veteran’s Day, it’s not just a free day off work, it’s not labor day and it’s not just an excuse to get with your buddies and drink beer. This is our one day that we, as a nation, say thank you. To us this is a sacred holiday. For those of us who lost friends along the way this is a chance for us to remember them, honor them and to cherish the service and sacrifices they gave us.
When a company holds a Memorial Day Sale they are taking a day created to mourn our nation’s fallen warriors and using it as an opportunity to make money. They are saying “thank you for your sacrifice, now lets make some cash.” In our eyes this is wrong. There are literally 364 other days in a year that you can hold a sale. Let’s just not do it on the day that is designed to mourn the fallen as I believe it cheapens and detracts from what the day was made to accomplish.
Think of it like this…. Memorial Day began following the Civil War when soldiers and citizens would visit the graves of the fallen and decorate them. Do you think they did this thinking how someday we all could get a free day off of work and get some killer savings on cars and mattresses?
Now, to the average American mattress store owner, you almost can’t blame them. They may not have been affected by the grievances of war like many of our nation’s Veterans and Gold Star Families. They might not understand the sheer gravity of the day and what it means to those who have lost their friends and loved ones to war. However, for those selling products in the tactical gear industry, there is absolutely no excuse. Your industry profits off of war. Plain and simple. If you sell a plate carrier, pouches, magazines, or any other piece of kit, t-shirt, patch, apparel that is designed to be used/worn by military personnel you are profiting off war. We aren’t saying it’s a bad thing. We do it. It’s a great industry and we absolutely love our job, our customers and what we accomplish. But without war and the military, our business and most other businesses in the tactical gear industry would fail. So, if you are a seller of said merchandise that profits off the existence of war, don’t take the one day of the year designed to honor the fallen to make more money. It is inherently and immorally wrong.
So what should you do on Memorial Day? Honestly, do whatever you want. This is America, the land of the free. You can celebrate the holiday in whatever way you see fit. This is merely our opinion, for whatever that’s worth. We will be shutting down our store to all web sales and taking the day to remember our brothers who gave their all. We will take the day off work to meet with friends and family to cherish the awesome lives we are afforded by the sacrifices of others. We won’t go get a bargain deal on some shoes or buy a memorial day inspired shirt. We will just remember and honor the fallen.
We sincerely hope other businesses, at least in the tactical gear industry, will follow suit. It would be incredible to turn Memorial Day back into a day of mourning, remembrance and respect.