I swear to god, sometimes I think people start wars just to get a holiday. I wrote this post a couple years back. It’s about Memorial Day, but I feel the same about Veteran’s Day, tomorrow:
You’ve all heard them – the suggestions that September 11th be recognized by making it a national holiday. I vehemently disagree with those suggestions. This weekend, 35 million Americans took to the Interstates to go camping, visit relatives, go to Disney World, and more. The airwaves are inundated with Memorial Day sales. Sales. That’s how we celebrate Memorial Day in this country. Yesterday, while shopping for groceries, I said “Have a great Memorial Day!” to the cashier as I left.
“Have a great Memorial Day!”
Think about that. We’ve turned a holiday dedicated to soldiers who’ve given their lives for freedom into a shopping holiday. Same in Canada. Our Memorial Day – our Rememberance/Armistice Day – is November 11th. We commemorate that day with days at the beach, camping, vacations, and – yes – SALES SALES SALES. It really is quite obscene.
Every year it gets worse. Every year, more of the people who took the holiday seriously die off. Every year, we feel less guilty about not celebrating the holiday as intended. Every year, more of the men and women who fought for our freedom vanish into thin air. We no longer have the guilt of having to look someone in the eye and explain why we were at the beach when others were at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Every year, we forget a little more.
Yes, today I will be helping organize a yard sale and barbecue. But I take comfort in the fact that at least I know what today is about, and I will remember. You’ve read in this weblog about my respect for the soldiers fighting abroad. I would like to be at the Memorial Day parade today. Since I’ve been in Atlanta, I’ve gone a couple times. When I was living in Canada, I’d go every November 11th.
But I’ve heard enough “Happy Memorial Days” and “Happy Rememberance Days”
I never – not EVER – want someone to come up to me and say “Happy September 11th!”
When someone says that to you, you know the holiday is meaningless. And you know it’s going to happen. It happens every time.
Tomorrow, I am going to post my thoughts on Veteran’s/Rememberance Day. And then I am going to the parade to watch as the men and women (who are left) march with honour – unfortunately, alongside political candidates and businesses.
Update: The Grand Marshall at tomorrow’s parade in Atlanta is Lt. Gen. Russel “Stuck on Stupid” Honore. I love this guy!
Update II: Don’t forget to donate to Project Valor-IT.