Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day: Thanksgiving and then some

To most of the country today is just another day they don't have to go to work and don't get any mail.  No fireworks, no family feast, no gifts.  To me it's the most underrated, unappreciated pause for celebration and remembrance on the calendar.  We tell our children about sacrifice, about how nothing worth having comes without paying a price, about hard work and perseverance and setbacks.  It's part of their education and of our efforts to make them into good citizens, contributing members of our society.  And these virtues are the bedrock of this holiday.

There are pages and pages of things that I enjoy and that give me pleasure and maybe an index card full of things that I truly love.  Most would not be possible in any other country on Earth.  In a bit of grand irony, one of those on the index card has me carrying a gun intent on using it, not for my country or my job or anything except my own enjoyment.  Hundreds of thousands of Americans before me have carried guns under much less enjoyable circumstances.

Winston Churchill once said, "Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time."  We're not without our problems. What family isn't?  Yet as long as this is true there will be other governments and individuals preoccupied with knocking us from the podium. Maintaining our spot at the top will always come with a price.

I go to work every day knowing that there is no one intent on killing me for what I do, at least not anyone who's going to act on it.  How different my world would be if that were not the case.


  1. This day has a special meaning for both my wife's family and mine. We both lost uncles that died before our births; mom's brother in New Guinea on October 16, 1943, and my wife's mom's brother in Saipan, July 2, 1944. We think of the sadness and grief our grandparents took to their graves and never forget their sons' sacrifices. In their photographs in my home, they are forever young.

    1. Many people overlook the sacrifces made by parents who watched their children go off to war. The boys lost their lives, the parents had to live out theirs with a hole where those boys once were.