Sunday, May 28, 2006
Honoring our war dead...
In 1865 a town reserved this day as a way to remember their soldiers who died during the Civil War. Later, The Congress approved the honoring of ALL war dead, and thus it became a day to stop and remember the freedoms we have and the cost of keeping those freedoms. It is not a day to honor all the troops, It is not a day to support the Presdient, It is not a day that signifies the beginning of summer. It is a day, set aside to honor our War dead!
When the Congress decided in the early 70's (the actual year escapes me) to make Memorial Day the last Monday in May, it cheapened the day. Retailers threw a party and said WHOOPEE!! Everyone is off today, let's have a big sale!! The American public said YES!!!! a three day weekend, where should we go camping? And a very few said Today I need to go to the Cemetery and visit my SOn/Husband/Father/wife/mother/daughter who died in battle.
I think we need to move this day back to it's original day MAy 30, and keep it there. No 3 day weekend, no major sales, no big BBQ's, just a day to stop and remember that today we have the freedom to speak our minds, worship the way we choose, and live our lives the way we want to. We need to stop and remember all those who have died in keeping our Nation Free.
When I was young, I lived right on the edge of an extinct volcano, in Hawaii, named PunchBowl. It had been designated as a National Cemetery, and only Veterens were buried there. On Memorial Day when we would ride our bikes up the road to the entrance, the whole crater was full of crosses and flags, all lined up in rows, Thousands and thousands of them. I remember walking among the dead and thinking that they had died a long time ago, when in reality it had not even been 20 years since the World War began and they were killed.
Maybe it is because I am getting older, maybe it is because I have time to sit and think now, and maybe it is because my entire life has been in and around a military base, and all of it's troops. But I dont think that we do enough to honor our fallen heroes!
Today, on your way to your family BBQ, or the local 3 day sale, stop by a cemetery and look at all the flags that have been placed on the graves of Our war dead. It is really sobering to see. Stop and say a quiet thank you to the first veteren you see. Stop and remember them. We may not have our freedom forever if we forget at what cost it came to us.
update...EDT I corrected the .... ahem... goof. I also fixed others that I found. I have a wonky little finger that does not release the shift button when it is supposed to, and I end up capitalizing TWO letters in a word. I also have a screwy virus checker that pops up and stops all typing while it checks. Since I look at the keys and not the monitor I dont always catch it. So when you see something that doesnt make sense, that is what happened.