It is Memorial Day once again - Which means that we are to be berated by editorialists and talking heads for not treating the day and this country's veterans with enough deference. The technicolor yawn of store sales, car dealership blowouts and focus on BBQ’s and beer diminish our appreciation of the brave men and women who sacrificed their lives to protect our freedoms they will shriek from every antenna tower.
While there is something to be said about the over commercialization of and the outright marketing of a date once called ‘Decoration Day’, I feel that the these uber critics may have it all wrong. If point of fact I feel that these distractions are the ultimate form of respect and praise to the service of veterans. Now before some of you get your panites in a bunch understand that I am not calling for complete disregard of the ceremonies and parades and laying of wreaths. All of those who have served should be honored - and I have proclaimed as much previously, especially when it comes to appreciating some of the overlooked hereos. ( see my post " station x...)
Yet, there is something to be said for hard won complacency of celebrating such a day with great orchestrations of distractions. This was hit home for me while listening to a segment on NPR's Weekend Edition. In the piece a solider recounts spending a memorial day on the Afganistan / Pakistan border with an inpromptu barbecue. The soilder descibes getting together the fixings, spices and of feeding thirty people non stop - creating a feeling of normalcy, a distance from the war and more like being home.
In the end is this not what we truly do hope for, to find a time when we do not have to think of such things? We do strive toward a future that sees war as a distant act of antiquity.
So celebrate with bowls of pasta salad, hamburgers and coolers full of beer ,(please make it a decent beer, none of this Coors or Budwiser nonsense, thanks), with only a passing thought of our troops. it is what they fought for.
Image source = The Krafteredge