Friday, May 26, 2006

Reflective Memorial Day

On the eve of the Memorial Day weekend I am in a reflective mood. Like most holiday's it has become over commercialized. On the calendar, most people look forward to it because of the vacation implications and the time it affords one to spend with friends and family. Citizen's less civic minded see a four day weekend as two opportunities: an extra day off of work and a extra day to eat and drink more than the previous year. In this respect, Memorial Day has become no different than Thanksgiving or to sound a bit irreverent, Christmas.

The day was started to honor those who fought to preserve the Union back in 1861 when thirteen southern states seceded after the election of Abraham Lincoln. Subsequent generations have forgotten this point ceding it to a historical footnote and when Veteran's Day became a national holiday, the meaning and significance of both blurred into one holiday "where we honor those in uniform" and wave the American flag.

In the present context of this nation engaged in a global war I find it particularly poignant to remember. I do not wish to discuss foreign policy but rather would like to issue a request. This weekend after ones journey has safely and successfully been completed, the first drink consumed and small talk begun, take a silent moment to reflect sometime this weekend. To those of us in geographic locations with warm temperatures think about those Civil War soldiers in wool uniforms, to those with rain this weekend think of European trenches and the jungles of Asia, to those in cold temperatures, our grandfather's frostbite in the Ardennes forest and at the Chosen Reservoir. Also, those of us where the weather is unpredictable regardless of state of the art satellite meteorology, think to our men and women overseas sweating under the oppressing day time sun while shivering at night. Finally, take a moment to reflect upon those who have died.

No comments: