reflections on Memorial Day.

when i was younger, Memorial Day wasn’t made such a big deal of. it was a “Yankee holiday.” which is strange, considering that some scholars claim Charleston as the birthplace of Decoration Day (Memorial Day’s predecessor) in 1865.

yet the first official observance was in 1868 when General John A. Logan issued General Orders No.11, establishing May 30, 1868 as the first Memorial Day. the wording of his orders, though heartfelt, could certainly explain some of the Southern apathy.

this has certainly changed; some of this change can probably be attributed to the numbers of northerners and midwesterners who have moved to our sunny southern climes. more than some is certainly attributable to seven years of war, with no real end in sight.

but whatever the reason for the change, i am of two minds concerning it. though i am glad to see our soldiers, sailors and airmen recognized for their sacrifices, i don’t think that it should be a one- or two- day a year thing.

whether our country is actively at war or not (war being defined as large scale conflict), the men and women of our armed forces still go in harm’s way. whether involved in peacekeeping missions or humanitarian operations, they are in danger from accident and enemy action every day they go to work. so a couple days a year seems like a bit too little.

not that i feel there should be more “official” holidays. i’m not really a fan of government-proclaimed anything, really. but maybe more of us should think about and thank our servicemen a little bit more often. i know i should.

quote of the day:

“We sleep soundly in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm.” – Winston Churchill, attrib.


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