Memorial Day

Cpl. Harry Sisserman, b. 1918. Enlisted 1942. KIA 1944/5

From Wikipedia: Memorial Day is a United States federal holiday observed on the last Monday of May. Formerly known as Decoration Day, it commemorates U.S. soldiers who died while in the military service. First enacted to honor Union soldiers of the American Civil War (it is celebrated near the day of reunification after the Civil War), it was expanded after World War I. […] A national moment of remembrance takes place at 3 p.m. local time. Another tradition is to fly the flag of the United States at half-staff from dawn until noon local time. Volunteers often place American flags on each grave site at National Cemeteries. […] The National Memorial Day Concert takes place on the west lawn of the United States Capitol. The concert is broadcast on PBS and NPR. Music is performed, and respect is paid to the men and women who gave their lives for their country.

From Twitter: Happy Memorial Day!

Um… “happy” memorial? Look, it’s not that I don’t want everyone, in general, to be happy. And I don’t expect anyone to spend the day in mourning. Have your cookouts, enjoy the company of your friends, do what you will. But please, don’t forget that your 3-day weekend is quite a bit more than the unofficial start of summer. Take a moment to reflect on the sacrifices of the many men and women who have died while serving. Honor their families. Appreciate that you live in a country which doesn’t require mandatory service. Then fish a cold drink out of that ice-filled bucket in the back yard, crack it open, and tip your head in a silent toast.

Say “thank you.”

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4 Replies to “Memorial Day”

  1. Just because someone said “Happy Memorial Day” in public, doesn’t mean she didn’t sit for an hour yesterday crying in remembrance watching the Hallowed Grounds documentary on PBS. To each her own. . .

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    1. Precisely why this post has nothing to do with cognizant folks such as yourself, and a lot to do with educating the youngsters who don’t seem to realize the origin of the holiday and supermarket advertisers who should know better.

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  2. I spent my first memorial day weekend traveling to the gravesites of my grandfathers in Colorado who served. Greatgrandpa John in WWI. Grandpa Everett who parachuted into the Battle of the Bulge WWII, sustained a hand wound that left him unable to play the guitar afterwards, survived the war only to be killed by a hit and run drunk driver 7 days after his 33 birthday and 3 months after his baby girl, my mother was born. And lastly, my Grandpa Rex who served in the Navy during the Korean war. He died just this past fall. It was the first time I spent Memorial weekend taking the time to remember and honor these men and it was a wonderful weekend. Happy may seem off to you, but the time I spent in the car with my kids, my mom and my grandma were some of the happiest I’ve had in a long while. I think happy is appropriate in context of gratitude and remebrance. We are a nation truly blessed and I think these men would all be proud to know we enjoyed this day in happiness.

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    1. It sounds as though you had a wonderful weekend, full of family and happiness and a serious dose of respect. And you make precisely the point that I was trying to with my post, although I must have worded it poorly in order to ruffle the feathers of my first two commenters. I want people to BE happy. All I’m asking is that folks don’t get so caught up with their macaroni salad as to forget the meaning behind the day. You and @asandford clearly have a handle on it.

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