Another Memorial Day has come and it’s a holiday whose public perception has changed over it’s 150 years. During both the civil war and world war 2 it would have been common for an American family and/or its extended family to have at least one relative who had died in service. Today it’s rare that a person serve let alone die wearing the uniform. It’s another sign of the cultural divide. What was once the most solemn day in the calendar is basically a day for a cookout these days.
Furthermore it was a day of unity. Think about it for a second. You had a violent civil war that had wreaked havoc yet both sides a few years later had no problem honoring the dead of the other and showing respect for those who had done their best to kill them and their loved ones. If the people who were being shot risking all had no problem honoring and showing respect for their foes in battle how much less right do we have to treat these folks graves and statues with disdain when we risk nothing?
My own family is unusual. Despite a father, brothers, brothers in law and many uncles who served (I don’t recall if my grandfathers served in WW 1) all came home alive, although for two years it was thought otherwise. One uncle had been badly wounded and found and cared for by a family in Italy whose father did his best to persuade this young handsome American to stay and marry one of his daughters (the fact my uncle had a wife back in the states didn’t seem to bother the perspective bride(s) or their father) but eventually he was well enough to report and went from the rolls of those honored on Memorial Day to those honored on Veterans day.
I should make one clarification, there was one cousin of my mother who she used to write to who was a causality. I don’t recall if he died in North Africa or Italy but she occasionally spoke of him. It was a branch of the family that I never knew so I don’t know the history there.
Finally Memorial Day is a great reminder for me personally of the Difference between the Bush years, Obama Years and the Trump years. During all of the Bush years I was gainfully employed and Memorial Day was a paid vacation for me. During the 1st Term of the Obama Years my only employment was the blog, During his 2nd term I found a temp job and as a temp Memorial Day was an unpaid day off. Today under Trump this is my 2nd Memorial Day with benefits including the day being a paid holiday for me once again.
I suspect I’m one of millions in this position and that fact is without a doubt the biggest obstacle to the two dozen Democrats trying to replace him.