Memorial Day in the US sits on the opposite end of the calendar of most of the western (post-)industrial nations who celebrate it on November 11. While theirs marks the end of hostilities from The Great War (aka World War I), ours marks our Civil War, and was begun to create an opportunity for reunifying a divided country.
US General John Logan, who instituted the event as ‘Decoration Day‘ in 1868, sought to give a moment’s reflection on the war dead without undue bias toward the victorious US army over the Confederacy. Indeed, his proclamation stressed a strikingly American emphasis on the familial and the local:
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.
A strikingly un-military holiday recognizing the sacrifices of the US military, most Americans celebrate it with family trips, cook outs, and/or baseball games. Indeed, Memorial Day Weekend is the second busiest travel period behind Thanksgiving Wednesday.
So to help you navigate your way home without spending extra hours in traffic or extra dollars at the gas pump, we want to direct you to five mobile apps drawn together by ABC News to help you out. We want briefly to highlight three of them.
iPhone app that taps into the social network of some 2 million users to help you find the fastest route, with alternatives, speedtraps, and traffic cameras marked out as reported by your fellow users.is a free
The superlative GPS app for mobile devices at the moment is. A professional grade GPS, it comes with a professional price, and map packages cost between $50-100 dollars (for countries or continents, so at least you won’t be buying 50 such packages for your transcontinental drive this summer).
Finally, perhaps most importantly, Charmin has sponsored a free app entitled ‘ ‘ As you probably have already guessed, the app offers maps and reviews of public restrooms around your geo-location. Some of the reviews of the facilities include comments about the quality of the restaurant or the price of the gas at the location housing said facilities, so you might get two benefits out of your rest stop.
We hope your Memorial Day Weekend has been safe and joyful and mindful of the millions of Americans who have sacrificed even their lives so that we could enjoy this wonderfully un-militarized military holiday. Check out these apps (plus Gas Buddy and State Farm-sponsored ‘ ‘) to discover ways to make your return home today a bit less stressful and your summer driving a bit cooler.