Who Took The ‘Memorial’ Out Of Memorial Day?
As many of you know I’m a Vietnam Vet. I’ve seen war up close and personal and it’s not like the movies.
Yes there’s death and destruction and bombs and planes but the one thing missing in your local movie theater is the smells.
Explosives, Napalm, blood and burning flesh are smells you remember long after.
We Celebrate Loss?
I brought this up on my Saturday show. Celebrate loss. That sounds a lot like an oxymoron doesn’t it?
Some people died so lets have a Bar-b-q or a furniture sale.
I can appreciate our capitalist system and being a business guy I am all for making a buck. But there’s a right and wrong way to do it.
It’s tough to have a happy day remembering those who are no longer with us. We relive memories, things that defined their lives, and touched ours.
War Has Changed
War, while still nasty, has changed. After over two decades in the Middle East the death toll is about a tenth of what was lost in Vietnam and much less than those lost in other wars.
But that doesn’t make our current losses any the less important.
There will be more living veterans to celebrate the next Veterans Day than during other wars. And that’s a good thing.
Memorial Day History
Following the Civil War women in both the north and south found solace in each other’s company and began placing flowers on the graves of the fallen.
The first recorded Decoration Day originated in a Southern cemetery. Women were laying flowers on graves and noticed the neglected graves of Union soldiers and decided to honor them too.
After World War I it was decided that the holiday would include those who died in all wars.
Decoration Day or Memorial Day became a national holiday in 1971 and would take place on the last Monday in May when flowers in most of the nation would be blooming.
Small flags were placed on all the graves in Arlington National Cemetery that year and the tradition has continued to this day.
Some Final Thoughts
As you can guess I’m probably not going out to buy a new sofa. I’ll be doing something else.
Today, all over America, people will take a moment of silence at 3:00 PM today to remember our brothers in arms.
I’ll be doing that. I hope you will too.