Sunday, May 29, 2016

Memorial Day

This isn't just a flag waving lip service post. But it is about gratitude and maybe about perspective. We're by no means historians, but, in a way, reflection makes us all exactly that, however erroneously, however briefly.

First, however, if we may, to our Canadian pals, our Dutch ones, British friends, too - heck, wherever you're reading this - thanks in advance for your forbearance. We like to think of ourselves as world citizens, but y'all might have noticed that Americans are basically being rather awful to one another right now, so this post will have a bit of tight ass hall monitor quality to it. (And although this post is assuredly not comedic, we're cracking ourselves up at the full measure of bossy pants in-house patriotism we're about to display.)

The Post

We're incredibly grateful to our veterans, both dead and living, for your sacrifices for our country - a country we love very much. Since all the wars, especially in our own lifetimes, have not been popular ones, maybe, in a sense, some sacrifices have been greater than others: It's one thing to survive being shot at, mined, held as POW, but many of you had to return to a country who then demonized you for doing that very thing. You were men called through a draft system or perhaps you even volunteered because you believed our very freedom was at stake. Looking back, it doesn't matter, because you served.

Hopefully, times have changed much since Vietnam. Maybe one day soon, the people who legislate from safe distances to risk your lives will begin to be more circumspect about that very thing. Our gratitude is not diminished based on the popularity of the strife at hand. Without you, we're ALL at risk. So, although, Memorial Day is about remembering, it's also about looking ahead, holding close what is dear, recognizing courage, sacrifice and honor beyond what most of us are ever called to display. Ever. (Salute.)


Perhaps the preceding post was 'well enough alone', but we have been thinking about specifics, about history itself and about what it is that we're supposed to be remembering... In WWII, we crossed oceans to join forces with besieged nations to fight fascism. No one country did it alone. That may need repeating. We love America but we came to the fight later and cannot begin to claim the kinds of utter devastation experienced by both Allied and Axis powers' countries. The civilian losses are still, 70 years later, incomprehensible, making 9/11 look like a fireworks mishap. And we are NOT dissing the heroes of that dark day. Again, this is about perspective.

Still, without the United States' contribution of personnel and materiels in WWII, without our soldiers, sailors and airmen, the planet would be a much scarier place than it is now. And America, as we know it, might not be here at all.

It seems like a very good time to think about that. Why? Because we're amid

a presidential campaign that's more hateful and divisive than many of us can believe, one that threatens to build, if not curtains made of literal iron, then brick ones or, worse, ones of utter intolerance: the very kinds of walls our own veterans worked to destroy.

Despite the flaws, failings and foibles of the system and our citizenry, what's good - no, wait, what's GREAT - about America here is enormous. It's still sure as hell worth fighting for. Although the threat of terror inflicted from abroad is real and alarming, the bubbling up of hate right here among ourselves is just as frightening.

A house divided and all that.

Have a safe weekend. Tell a vet thank you.

And one other really big thing:

Please make sure the animals are protected from the darn fireworks.

Ask your vet what you can do.

We know. That's really candy assed but darn it, if we were completely sane, this wouldn't be so much fun to read, now would it?

Carry on.

(Insert Al Pacino "Scent of a Woman", "HOO-haaa!" here.)

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