It amazes me how many people do not know why today was a day of remembrance or that today was even Memorial Day. While I was happy at the number of flags I saw flying in and around my neighborhood, I was equally appalled by the lack of flags in my little conservative neck of the woods. Do we really need training on the do’s and don’ts in remembering the sacrifice of our national heroes? Apparently so.
On Friday, my oldest informed me of a UIL (University Interscholastic League) band solo contest that was occurring Monday. Wait – would that be the same Monday as Memorial Day I inquired as dad? The very same I was told. So at 04:30am today, my oldest and I drug our fannies out of bed to get him to school to catch a bus to Austin. Since his trumpet solo was semi-early, rather than him languish in Austin all day and get home at 10:30 pm, yours truly followed the bus to Austin. Since we were up at the fanny crack of dawn, I thought it was fitting to have a little discomfort in my day to bring some reality of why we celebrate Memorial Day. So on my 140 mile excursion to Austin, I recalled my favorite war movies, sang patriotic songs, and remembered our fallen heroes over the last 236 years. I got myself worked up on the drive over memories of friends and family lost in Beruit in 83 and the losses we have had in the War on Terror. I’m quite sure passing truckers thought I had spent some time in the apple cider….
While some minor inconvenience of going to a solo contest to support my son was nothing in comparison to the sacrifices made by our soldiers, airmen, sailors, and marines – the very fact that some intellectual idiot scheduled the event on Memorial Day was a sheer sign of the lack of etiquette that we have allowed regarding our history and respect for our military. Although that history and demand for respect is certainly in resurrection mode with the current conservative movement, it causes a moment of pause nonetheless.
So, here is a list of activities to participate in and some to stay the blazes away from:
Acceptable and Respectful Memorial Day observances –
Displaying the American Flag, calling-visiting-thanking a veteran, praying for the souls of soldiers – airmen – sailors – marines who have lost their lives and for those who protect us now, placing flowers at the grave of a deceased military person, watching war movies to attempt to imagine what our heroes have endured, attending a parade, and thanking God for being American. While there are certainly more, these hit the high points.
Unacceptable and Abominable acts towards Memorial Day:
Scheduling a UIL or other organized event on American soil on Memorial Day, neglecting to get off your sorry butt and fly Old Glory, not realizing it was Memorial Day, or not knowing what Memorial Day is about. I don’t want to hear you don’t have a flag when they cost $20 and take 5 minutes to display.
Now this little Pocket Guide of do’s and dont’s is for future reference. Today is over and I hope yours went very well. I’m happy to say that I flew my flag, watched some great war movies, prayed for our troops (alive & deceased), and got to visit with two veterans today. The first came on the drive back from Austin. My son and I stopped in Temple, Texas to get gas. A car pulled up beside us as my son was filling our car with gas. A young man got out of the car. He was young, but had lines of care on his face. He was stocky with a crew cut and had a prosthetic for his lower left leg. I looked at him and asked if he was a soldier and he smiled and replied that he was a marine. Silly me. I nodded toward the leg and he said one word – Iraq. I reached out to shake his hand and said “Thanks.” He simply responded with “It was my honor to serve.” That shook me up and we nodded again at each other and went back to our respective cars. I did not say anything to my son at the time, as I was not sure if I would break down or not. During the remaining drive home that image stood in my mind. I tried to imagine the sacrifice and once again I thanked God for our special breed of military personnel we have in the US.
The second visit was to my 86-year-old cousin, retired Major USAF John H Yancy. John was in World War II in the Army Air Corp that later became the Air Force. He was stationed in London in 1944. As a flight engineer to pilots of B17, B27, and B47’s – John was part of intense action in WWII. He would also serve in the Korean War as flight engineer for US bombers. John also was part of the first crews that saw our Air Force convert to the jet engine age. His crew was the first to fly Mach I and II, as well as test out Doppler Radar for then Carswell AFB. John is a treasure to this nation and part of history we are losing each year.
No matter how hard the liberals try to dumb down the nation on our history; no matter how disrespectful some UIL idiot is for scheduling an event on Memorial Day; our nation is a great nation for those that show the respect and rememberance our heroes deserve.
Maybe next year we won’t need this little guide…..