Sunday, May 24, 2009
I wonder how many people actually understand Memorial Day in the US. Many of us go camping, travel and/or gather with friends primarily to party. I often hear "Happy Memorial Day" or "Have a happy Memorial Day weekend."
Frankly, I don't really see anything "happy" about Memorial Day and I feel a little uncomfortable calling it a holiday. Sure...we get a day off of work to grill meat and drink beer but what the fuck? How do people get off partying and carrying on about the happy holiday weekend of Memorial Day?
Memorial Day is a day of remembrance for those who have died in the service of our country.
As I write this, I can hear the neighbor's fireworks. I suppose it could be ignorant kids being naughty of some of the equally ignorant "lake people" having a party. I think explosions might be the LAST thing a combat vet would want to hear on this day. Give the celebrating and partying a rest, just for one day. It makes me sad when I think about all the people who have lost loved ones.
From now on, when I observe Memorial Day...that's right OBSERVE not celebrate, I am not only going to remember the dead, I am going to remember that what I do on this day is for the living. And I will remember the people who were asked to KILL for this country. And I will think about those who have to re-live their experiences over and over again in their heads. And I will remember to be grateful that I wasn't called up to kill or be killed. And I will remember to be grateful that I can write this blog and not fear imprisonment or death. And I will remember them all, living and dead, again and again.
Learn more about the history this "holiday" at the Department of Veteran's Affairs.