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The Meaning of Memorial Day

10 minutes
First broadcast:
Friday 04 June 2010

David Cannadine reflects on the significance of Memorial Day in the United States. He traces the history of this important public holiday and describes the role it plays in American society today. What was once a divisive commemoration of fallen soldiers on one side in the Civil War, is now a day that unites the nation in remembrance of all its war dead. It is also a time for family and community gatherings, the Idianapolis 500 mile automobile race and, as David Cannadine amusingly recalls, a time to try out your speechmaking skills with your local "Toastmasters" club.


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