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Memorial Day 2010

photo courtesy Kay N. Koehler

Today is May 30, 2010. When I was growing up, May 30th was the traditional date for celebrating Memorial Day (or Decoration Day as it was also still known by many folks). As Peterr notes, there are a lot of places that lay claim to holding the first Memorial Day/Decoration Day observances.

My father served in the Army Air Corps during WWII. He’s in the lower left photo in this group of pictures (most of the pictures are of my godfather). After the war, Dad returned to our hometown to work and raise his family. He became active in the Veteran’s of Foreign Wars (VFW). Because of this, I spent a lot of Memorial Days in my youth selling VFW Buddy Poppies. For some reason, my abilities to be a somewhat obnoxious little sh*t were rather helpful in selling the poppies as I could get folks to buy them just so I’d leave them alone.

As we celebrate this holiday in 2010, I’d like to ask folks to pause at some point between the burgers and dogs, beer, brisket, and ribs, and the day off and reflect on the meaning of the holiday. Think about the death this past week of Lt John Finn, 100 years old and the then oldest surviving holder of the Medal of Honor for his actions during the attack on Pearl Harbor. Think about the 1,000th US casualty in Afghanistan (a “milestone” we crossed this past week), the more than 4,000 US soldiers who have died in Iraq. Think about the millions of Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines who have been injured or died in the wars since the Civil War.

Think also about all the civilians in all the countries where the US adventurism has been displayed over the years, the deaths and the dislocations and the disruptions of lives at our hands. I’m not asking folks to judge the morality of the wars and whether the adventurism was or was not justified. Even “good wars” harbor evil and misery beyond the comprehension of most of us who live our lives in our enclaves here in the US.

The people serving in the military today are not evil robots. They have joined the military for about as many different reasons as there individuals. I have an idea that those folks who have seen war up close and personal are the same ones least likely to celebrate war. So if you can, honor the service and sacrifice without judgement.

And because I can:

CommunityMy FDLSeminal

Memorial Day 2010

Today is May 30, 2010. When I was growing up, May 30th was the traditional date for celebrating Memorial Day (or Decoration Day as it was also still known by many folks). As Peterr notes, there are a lot of places that lay claim to holding the first Memorial Day/Decoration Day observances.

My father served in the Army Air Corps during WWII. He’s in the lower left photo in this group of pictures (most of the pictures are of my godfather). After the war, Dad returned to our hometown to work and raise his family. He became active in the Veteran’s of Foreign Wars (VFW). Because of this, I spent a lot of Memorial Days in my youth selling VFW Buddy Poppies. For some reason, my abilities to be a somewhat obnoxious little sh*t were rather helpful in selling the poppies as I could get folks to buy them just so I’d leave them alone.

As we celebrate this holiday in 2010, I’d like to ask folks to pause at some point between the burgers and dogs, beer, brisket, and ribs, and the day off and reflect on the meaning of the holiday. Think about the death this past week of Lt John Finn, 100 years old and the then oldest surviving holder of the Medal of Honor for his actions during the attack on Pearl Harbor. Think about the 1,000th US casualty in Afghanistan (a "milestone" we crossed this past week), the more than 4,000 US soldiers who have died in Iraq. Think about the millions of Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines who have been injured or died in the wars since the Civil War.

Think also about all the civilians in all the countries where the US adventurism has been displayed over the years, the deaths and the dislocations and the disruptions of lives at our hands. I’m not asking folks to judge the morality of the wars and whether the adventurism was or was not justified. Even "good wars" harbor evil and misery beyond the comprehension of most of us who live our lives in our enclaves here in the US.

The people serving in the military today are not evil robots. They have joined the military for about as many different reasons as there are individuals. I have an idea that those folks who have seen war up close and personal are the same ones least likely to celebrate war. So if you can, honor the service and sacrifice without judgement.

And because I can:

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dakine01

dakine01

Small town Kentucky country boy lived all over the country. Currently in Ruskin, FL