Memorial Day is Memorial Day, and please, dear reader, do not confuse it with Veterans Day.
Whereas Veterans Day celebrates the service of all U.S. military veterans, Memorial Day is a day of remembering the men and women who died while serving.
That’s why I don’t dwell on my dear, departed late Father on Memorial Day. He served in WWII, survived it, got home after the war, had a family and lived until he was 80 years old. That doesn’t mean he didn’t serve honorably and bravely in the European Theater. It simply means that he didn’t die while serving. So, no offense, dad – but this Memorial Day Weekend isn’t for you.
On the other hand, Memorial Day is a federal holiday on which the men and women who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces are remembered. This means, I’ll be remembering all of those brave souls who were killed in action – be it WWII, Vietnam (a war with which I vehemently disagreed, but nonetheless) or Iraq – you name it. Whether one agrees or not with a given war, the bullets and grenades still do the same damage to the ones in the way of them.
What I find interesting about Memorial Day is that it was at one time known as Decoration Day. It started after the Civil War to commemorate and honor the Union and Confederate soldiers who died in the Civil War. I can only imagine that some politically correct dipshit will someday soon start calling out Memorial Day as having racist undertones because of its original ties to the Civil War. How dare any American honor and remember dead Confederate soldiers!? Well, I do honor them just as I honor the dead Union soldiers who were killed while the two sides were fighting one another.
(Happy Memorial Day…)
The other, least important, thing about Memorial Day is that it typically marks the start of the summer vacation season. Yeah, like I care…
So, dad, although I think about you a lot, you’ll get your real remembrance on Veterans Day (November 11th) but this weekend, I’ll be remembering and honoring your brothers in arms who went to fight – and never came back…as well, as all United States soldiers who went to fight in any and every war in which America was involved who were killed in action. I’m sure you understand.
As for you, dear reader, the next time you venture out to buy a cup of coffee or take your kids to the movies or even go to work in that 9 to 5 job that you hate so much, remember what allows you to do that. Remember upon whose blood sacrifice you’ve been given the privilege to do whatever it is that you do.
And, this weekend, not only remember them – but thank them. Because without those soldiers who paid the ultimate sacrifice, neither I nor you would be free to do any damned thing. We would not be free to bitch about one another’s favorite music or movies or TV shows – or political views or stances. Hell, without the blood that’s been shed, I wouldn’t even be free to write this piece. And, you wouldn’t be free to read it.
Happy Memorial Day, everyone!