Every Memorial Day, I take a moment to really reflect on what this holiday means. I know its the time for festivals, and cookouts, and baseball (Go Braves!), but why do I deserve a Monday @ the end of May in which I don’t have to work and can get fat on food and libations? I wont take up too much of ya’lls time, but a few talking points:
- Memorial Day’s original name was Decoration Day. For those of ya’ll from the country like me, your church has “decoration” once or twice a year. At “decoration” we’d spend time cleaning up and decorating family graves, followed by a big lunch (or cookout if you will). Decoration Day was a widely held tradition to honor and decorate the graves of fallen Union soldiers from the Civil War and was later expanded to include memorializing all soldiers.
Recent Memorial Day News:
- Even though today is supposed celebrate soldiers who have died in the line of duty for our freedom, these loud-mouth, radio “pundits” continue acting like children seeking attention. Mike Savage mentioned to his listeners the President Obama’s decision to attend ceremonies in Chicago was “the first time” in US history a president was not going to Arlington National Cemetery for Memorial Day. Well…In 2002, GW Bush participated in ceremonies in Normandy honoring fallen soldiers from D-Day. GHW Bush did not attend Arlington ceremonies during his 4 year. Regan attended Arlington ceremonies only 4 of the 8 years. Clinton attended Arlington all 8 years.
- Read an article today about a father who lost his son in Iraq. I was looking for a transparently, emotional story about personal loss, but what i found was an interesting article on the politicizing of war. The author spoke on how Vietnam “inaugurated an era” of misuse and misunderstood military power.
From Beirut and Bosnia to Iraq and Somalia, the troops served and sacrificed while expending huge sums of taxpayer money.
- America’s involvement in Afghanistan has reached out 104 months (~9 years). This is the longest shooting war in US history. On Friday, May 28th, the 1000th soldier was killed in Afghanistan. To date, we have spent over a trillion dollars in Iraq and Afghanistan. There’s mention of an additional $60 billion (Chinese-borrowed) approved for these “wars”. This “war of arrogance” wanders in and out of our daily lives as the news and media see fit. I’m sure that a remember, in history books, wars had a purpose, a strategy, and a winner. Victory is often claimed at seemingly random points of context. The reality is that there’s becoming no metric for victory and wars just go on-and-on.
I mention these handful of speaking points to really personify the fact that we’ve gotten so far away from “Decoration Day” and to challenge everyone to take a moment to remember what Memorial Day is really about…God Bless the Fallen!