MEMORIAL DAY 2013 ~~ for me, Memorial Day is a day of contemplation and quiet projects that let me think about how I feel and why my thoughts don’t seem to be in alignment with many of my fellow United States citizens. This is the first year that I’ve been hyper-conscious of the “Happy Memorial Day” photos, posters, tweets, Facebook and Pinterest posts…I could go on, but I’m sure you get the idea. Maybe it has something to do with my age.
My generation provided the men and women who fought in the Vietnam War. We poured our youth into the grinder of conflict in that sad and tired little country. We didn’t win the conflict — nobody won. Our country is still pouring young men and women into far-away countries in wars that seem to be no-win conflicts. In my lifetime our nation has fought in Korea, Afghanistan, and VietNam…and 18 other less publicized conflicts.*
In the history of our nation, war has been a constant. Since the American Revolution in 1775, the United States has lost 2,717,991 military and civilian citizens and 36,159 additional individuals that are missing, presumed dead…that’s a grand total of 2,754,150. That’s Two Million, Seven Hundred-Fifty four, One Hundred-Fifty people.
On Memorial Day I think about the men and women I need to thank for my continued freedom. Nearly Three Million people have given their lives to assure that our democracy exists un-threatened by other nations.
IMHO, Memorial Day is a celebration, a celebration of gratitude and remembrance of those we owe for their supreme sacrifice in service of the United States. Somehow, “Happy” doesn’t sound right. “Thankful”, “Blessed”, and “Grateful” sound right to me.
Have you ever considered that our freedom is a precious commodity — that others have paid for it with their lives? What do you think? Let me know in the comments. I promise to answer every single one.