Today, May 30th, is Memorial Day here in the United States, so most corporate offices--including IBM's--here are closed today. So what is Memorial Day?
Memorial Day (history) is a designated day here in the States for us to honor our soldiers who have died in war. This is similar to Vetran's Day, November 11th, which is to honor living people who used to be soldiers.
Memorial Day is also a national holiday, so most people get the day off work. Although what businesses are closed today varies--factories, offices, banks, and Post Offices are closed; but stores, hotels, airlines, and restaurants (the services industry) are open. Memorial Day, the last Monday in May, is America's unofficial start of summer. This lasts until the unofficial end of summer, Labor Day, a national holiday on the first Monday in September, which is designated for honoring workers (especially union members).
So what does Memorial Day mean to Americans? As you may well know, most Americans hold what we call "freedom" in very high regard. We feel that we owe a great debt to our soldiers, especially those who died in combat, for making sacrifices to preserve our way of life. Today many of us will spend time with our families and friends, having picnics, attending parades, and generally enjoying the freedom our soldiers have helped preserve. (Not to say that everything the US Military has done throughout history has always been ideal or noble, but we still honor the sacrifices our soldiers have made, which they did for the good of us all.)
So, happy Memorial Day.