25 May 2009

Memorial Day rant.

Monday my Mom and I went down to our little town and watched the Memorial Day parade. It was so sweet and quaint and so quintessentially small-town American. The members of the VFW marched by and I got all misty... I applauded them as they passed me and quickly everyone along the street joined in. I was so proud and honored and humbled in those minutes as the WWII era war planes flew overhead and the local high school marching band played "God Bless America". At that moment, it was all that is right with our country.

And then I came home, hopped on the web, and witnessed all that is wrong with our country. I got all kinds of surly with the commenters over at Pioneer Woman today... it seems that Memorial Day, to many, isn't about the military or the sacrifices of those men and women specifically that allow us the freedoms and liberties we have. It seems that for a lot of folks it is about remembering their families, their lineage, their ancestors. While I think it is great to remember your family history, I can't help but be annoyed that so many folks ignore, forget or disregard the fact that this is the ONE day a year we specifically set aside to remember those who sacrificed EVERYTHING for our freedom. I guess I feel like we have every other day of the year to remember those loved ones who have passed, Memorial Day isn't that day, at least it shouldn't be that day. Plus this lady really torqued me off:
"repmogirl said: Thanks for reminding folks that Memorial Day is about more than barbecues…It seems to have become another military holiday, but in my family it’s more about keeping track of family history and passing it on to the next generation..." (emphasis is mine)
WHA? ANOTHER MILITARY HOLIDAY??? There are only 2 major ones lady. Two. 2 days a year to stop for a damned minute to say THANK YOU. Thank you for putting you life on hold, for fighting with all you have, for giving up your life to make this country what it is. 2 days. Quite frankly, it doesn't seem like enough. Anyway, thankfully a poster named Deb got it right:

"Thank you for sharing from your heart about your Memorial Day, which is centered on your family cemetery. As the wife of an Air Force officer who has selflessly served our country for over 20 years, including two tours in Iraq, I was really saddened to hear that your Memorial Day doesn’t focus on what Memorial Day is really all about. (But thanks for including the paragraph on cowboy “Sam” who served in Vietnam, and mentioning the military in the last paragraph.)
Please know that Memorial Day is a day to honor and remember the brave military men and women who died while in military service. You & I would not enjoy the freedoms we have today without the military folks, past & present, who are willing to give their lives in order to secure our freedom.
Thank you to all of you out there who serve in the military! May God bless America, land of the free…because of the brave."

YEAH. What she said.

So that is my rant. I don't mean to sound sanctimonious, it is just that I get so fed up with the people of this country who forget about our military, who shrug off their daily sacrifices as inconsequential, who don't care to remember or honor them, who look at the military with disdain or disgust, who flippantly blow off the remembrance of the people who DIED so that you can have your white picket fences and an internet to spew your stupidity on (repmogirl, not Ree). I get annoyed that people feel the need to make THIS holiday about them, about their own tiny bubbles, not the National Day of Remembrance for the strangers that died for your freedoms, this year, last year, and every year before. What those men and women died for was your right to be an outspoken moron and not have to reap any consequences for it. So at least be thankful for your right to be an idiot, you ungrateful twit.

Hhmph. Rant over.

UPDATE: I was over at The Big Picture (go check it out, they have some beautiful Memorial day photos) and while there is plenty of drivel in the comments, there are a few from European readers who thanked our WWII troops for all they have done, all their sacrifices so that they too may be free. So that the French and Spanish and all the others can still be just that, not part of a German empire (see # 35, 37, 41, 84, 88). These folks made me tear up because they don't even live here, the troops weren't their countrymen, it wasn't their sacrifice and yet, they GET IT. They get it in a way that clearly so few Americans do.


Post Tenebras Lux said...

Sigh. . . .

liberal army wife said...

ya know... there are times you want to shake them till the pea brain they share with others rattles. "another military holiday"... wow. I think I'm grateful I don't read/take part with that group. Next year - if we are still here, c'mon out to DC - we'll show them what a REAL Memorial Day weekend looks like. I remember last year, Garrison Keillor wrote a fatuously stupid piece about Rolling Thunder and the fat ponytailed riders who needed to remember what Memorial day means... he forgot who they were. I wonder, is it a Midwestern non military virus?


Anonymous said...

Yes - I left her and her commenters two poignant posts.


I didn't like her response, either - I mentioned the military but " maybe I should have done better" or something lame like that.

I suggested she put a flag by the ranch hand's grave - the only one who had served - not a family member.

Some families are never touched by service related sacrifice - hers is obviously one of them.

We were absolutely right to raise her awareness. If I had her address I would be mailing her a flag for the old rancher's grave!

I was really pissed. Now I feel better.

Thanks, homegirl!


Anonymous said...

LAW - I did invite her to come have a look at Arlington Cemetery and the tomb of the unknown soldier!


Tucker said...

TB- I agree that I wasn't thrilled with her response... it just makes me so sad and frustrated that so few 'get it'. Sigh. At least we did our parts to raise the awareness level and hopefully get a few folks thinking... I saw your comments and loved both of them!

LAW- Swiss and I are THERE! If you and Chief are still there, we will meet up with you and hang out next Memorial Day- that would be wonderful! :)


Kanani said...

I said the same thing... only it was in a letter to a pastor at my church. It's not everyday I take on a pastor, but this day was as good as any!

Tucker said...

Good for You Kanani! :)