Monday, May 31, 2010

In Memorium

If you think this is about Dennis Hopper or Gary Coleman, then you must not be an American who observes Memorial Day. No, this post is a reminder to observe this holiday set aside to honor those Americans who fell in battle. Sometimes it bothers me when living veterans are brought up on Memorial Day, and the dead are brought up on Veteran's Day; they're separate days. But let's do remember those currently fighting, lest they become one more Memorial Day statistic.

I know everyone sees this as a day to party or see a movie or open the pool, but try to give some thought today about the dead. And not just the obvious ones. Yes we remember those who stormed Normandy or fell in 'Nam. We remember those who fought in the Pacific. We remember all those Americans who killed each other at Gettysburg and Antietam. But let's remember ALL of them. Remember the ones in Iraq and Afghanistan. Remember the ones in all other military conflicts abroad that don't earn the memorable "american war" status. Remember the ones in Korea. Remember the ones in World War I. Remember those in the War of 1812, the Spanish-American War, the Mexican-American War. Remember all who fell at the Alamo. Remember the American Revolution beyond the tea parties and committees; beyond frozen wooden teeth crossing the Delaware. Remember the men. Remember the women. Remember the white, the black, the hispanic, the American indian, the Asian, the arab, the gay, the straight, the old and the all-too-young. Remember those who died on the ground and those who died in the air. Those who fled sinking ships and those who went down with them. Those who stood against the British, and those who fought beside them. Remember the medics who tended the wounded, some of whom went down with them. Remember those who served and never saw combat, but have died with the distinction of serving our country however they could in whatever thankless job in time of crisis. Remember the typists, clerks and translators. Remember the recruiters and technicians. Remember the people at home who suffered loss, and the ones they wept for. Remember the Army, the Navy, the Marines, the Air Force, the Coast Guard, the minutemen, the militias, the National Guard. Remember them, and never forget.

"War must be, while we defend ourselves against a destroyer who would devour all; but I do not love the bright sword for its sharpness, nor the arrow for its swiftness, nor the warrior for his glory. I love only that which they defend." -- Lord of the Rings, book IV, chapter 5

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