Memorial Day 2012

Memorial Day

I’m not so sure the Russians have it wrong. Their May 9th Victory Day observance is somewhat similar to our Memorial Day. It is also known as “the holiday with tears in our eyes.” The main purpose of Victory Day was the defeat of Nazi Germany in WWI where 27 million soviets died. During their observances Red Square is taken over by a parade of 20,000 soldiers and 100 vehicles as well as aircraft. The uneducated see it as a way of parading their military prowess before the world and putting on display what they have to destroy all enemies. I see it as a proper way of honoring the holiday.

How seriously do we take it here??

We get the 4th Monday off in May (as near to May 30th as we sometimes can get) with the purpose of celebrating the soldiers who have died in the service of the country. This 3, or sometimes, even 4 day weekend is seen as the official “kickoff” of the summer season where people hit the beaches and barbecue everything in the refrigerator.  Sadly, many people don’t even know the distinction between Memorial Day being to honor the dead and Veterans Day in November honors all who have served in the military during time of war and peace.

Comedian Heywood Banks shot an arrow right through the bullseye on this one.   His short 56 second song about Memorial Day comes off as being funny, (and is truly ironic that such a serious message is coming from a comedian) but it actually should make you think about how we actually celebrate Memorial Day and how we perceive ourselves as celebrating Memorial Day.

Please Listen here  ——> Heywood Banks on Memorial Day

I was disgusted by one ad I found on the internet which so proudly read, “The federal government gave you Monday off to celebrate those who have died for our military.  But that’s no reason you can’t spend Memorial Day weekend hitting the sales too!  There’s nothing quite as patriotic as boosting our nation’s economy, am I right?”

First they didn’t die for the military.  They died for America… for our freedom…. the freedom so you (and I ) have the right to do what we want to.  Even if that means spending money on mattresses and tires, you have the right as an American to do that and I have the right to complain about how retailers capitalize on it.  It’s not only today.  I know that people will put on a sale for just about anything in order to get business.  My take is that I just wish people would take it more seriously sometimes and not try to polarize everything in a political way such as, “I’m against the war in Iraq so I’m not celebrating Memorial Day.”

This last video I want to share is a bit longer.  Vice President Joe Biden is speaking before a gold star audience of people who have lost a loved one in the military.  I find it to be very encouraging. (There might be a short ad you have to sit through first)

VP Biden Speech for T.A.P.S  

Uncle Sam