Good Evening All.
Last year I posted a few thoughts on Memorial Day on my other blog, and I think it sums up most of what needs to be said. Here's a repost, with a few updates.
Today, we celebrated the third day of a three-day weekend to honor the supreme sacrifice of those who fought our nation's wars, and never came home. It's easy to forget the meaning behind it, because it happens to be the unofficial start of summer and the kickoff of barbecue season. It also involves parades, and other activities meant to inspire joy and pride, and not mourning or sadness.
Why is that?
Because our men and women in uniform would have wanted us to do exactly that. If we lived under oppressive regimes that staged parades that citizens were forced to attend, cheering fanatically as goose-stepping soldiers led battle-scarred tanks through some town square, the patriotism on display would not be genuine. This type of emperor-worshipping groupthink is precisely what our founding fathers went out of their way to prevent and eliminate.
A parade, on the other hand, is an expression of free speech. And here in America, because young men and women have fought for our rights to express that speech (or not), grill some burgers, dogs, and ribs outside (or not (even if the vegetarians don't like it)), and go to the beach, surf, and get a sick tan (or not), WE CAN. Our friends who picket veterans' funerals, spewing obscenities, believing that an angry diety is punishing us for perceived immorality, would do well to consider this next time they create a "G-D HATES . . . ." banner.
Hope you enjoyed your Memorial Day, America.
In addition, I'd like to present a video tribute to our fallen heroes, to the tune of Battle Hymn of the Republic, as arranged by Peter Wilhousky. If this doesn't put a lump in your throat and mist in your eyes, nothing will!