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Sunday, May 25, 2008

Memorial Day Weekend

In my view, Memorial Day ceased to exist some years back. Now the focus is only on the "Memorial Day Weekend," which means different things to different people.

To Hollywood, it's the weekend of the fourth Indiana Jones sequel.

To chain stores, it's a weekend selling barbeque grills, picnic tables and lawn dart sets.

To school kids, it's the last 3-day weekend during the school year. The Fourth of July weekend, coming during the summer break, doesn't count.

To the automobile industry, it's a 3-day blow-out sale of all the new models they've been having trouble moving off the lot since January.

To the news media, it's a 3-day vamp, re-treading old stories and controversies, until---Thank God!---Tuesday rolls around again.

And, of course, to countries outside the United States, it's just another 2-day weekend, followed by another Monday.

However, before it was merely embedded in a 3-day sale-a-thon, Memorial Day itself was a day when the nation reflected on those who died in various wars, here and abroad. Regardless of one's position on the various wars we've been involved in, I think it's still a good idea to remember the sacrifice of those who've served.

Not a highly original or controversial position, I know. But there it is.

1 comment:

NewsstandGreg said...


Well said, my friend. I'm a Vietnam veteran and that fact becomes ever more important with each passing Memorial Day.

I'll always live knowing that I'm one of the lucky ones who lived to talk about it.

When a traveling exhibit of the Vietnam Wall came to my coastal town, I thought it would be a good thing to see.

I could never have known the experience would overwhelm me as I searched the columns of names of soldiers that died during my Western Pacific tour of 1969-70.

Soldiers, sailors, Marines, Air Force, you name it. They're all on that list for events more than 35 years ago. No single reason for the Vietnam War has ever surfaced.

The question today is: how did we let another senseless war happen, 35 years later?