Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Memorial Day

From Memorial Day, 2006:

I'm leaving town in like 14 minutes, so I don't have as much time as I'd like to expound on this idea. I'll do my best.

The way many people have decided to celebrate Memorial Day bothers me. A lot. Why has it become just another excuse to drink copious amounts of beer and fire up the grill? Or an excuse to buy a new car or hot tub or outfit because those things are all on sale?

This morning I got to continue my yearly tradition of putting flags on veterans' graves. What a humbling experience that always is. In McCook's cemetaries, we are fortunate enough to not have any veterans of this war as of today, but Mom and I always find veterans of just about every United States war. Just this morning, we found a WWII KIA who I had never known about before.

The sight of the cemetary, decked out in hundreds of flags gently blowing in the breeze, is a humbling and beautiful one. It's incredible to stop and think about the sacrifices all these men and women made, and the way those sacrifices helped shape the landscape of my town, my state, and my country today.

I guess I just want everyone to remember why Memorial Day even exists. It's not just another three-day weekend. It's something so much bigger; so much more important than the majority of people today seem to realize.

To everyone I know who has served: Thank you. You are incredible.
To everyone I know who will serve in the future: Thank you. The United States could use more people like you.

And to everyone who doesn't think veterans are worthy of every ounce of respect we can work up: Please move to France.

Great video--the true meaning. I dare you to get through this without shedding a tear.

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