Another Memorial Day has come and passed. I meant to write a little something about it on my own blog, but to be frank I was too busy eating franks.
And that's okay.
I'm a veteran. And I know a lot of veterans. I'm not a vet who gave his last full measure of devotion, but we really can't ask any of them what they think. I have a suspicion about what they'd think, though.
I can tell you one thing with certitude: I never met a Soldier who didn't love a good hot dog and a beer. Well, maybe I knew a few Mormons who didn't drink. But they still came to barbecues, and we had barbecues a lot. Sometimes the boss had a barbecue. Sometimes the base had a barbecue. Sometimes we had barbecues just because. Hell, we even had a barbecue in Iraq. The dining facility people wouldn't give us anything that wasn't already cooked, so were just charbroiling boiled steaks, but it was still a nice time, just to be able to do something different.
I don't think any of the vets who have passed on would feel bad about you honoring their memory by pulling up a lawn chair with your friends and family and having a hot dog and a beer. I mean, maybe the guys from the Revolution would be wondering what kind of odd sausage-type comestible you were partaking in, but I don't think even they'd mind.
There's a lot of poo-pooing this time of year. It's mostly on Facebook, where people seem to prefer to do their poo-pooing, cushioned from one another by hundreds of miles and a computer screen. And it goes along the lines of, "If you're not weeping into your veil and wearing black all Memorial Day you're not a real American."
Well, you know, I can think of better ways to honor our war dead than posting a meme. But I really can't think of a better way than gathering together your loved ones, maybe at the beach, maybe in your backyard, and enjoying the fine weather and the free country that they wanted us to have. I suspect if they had anything to say about the matter, they'd say, "I'm glad you're doing it because I don't get to anymore."
There's no reason to feel bad or to try to make other people feel bad about how they want to spend their holidays. That's always just smacked of grandstanding and holier-than-thou bullshit to me.
Should you go to a parade or a wreath-laying ceremony at a local cemetery? Sure, if you want to. Should you listen to the speeches at Arlington or watch a war movie on TCM? Why not, if that's your bag. Should you raise a cold one in honor of your family members who were vets, maybe old Uncle Bart who probably loved nothing better than a Memorial Day barbecue with his family? Hell, yeah, you should.
But should you spend even one instant telling somebody else they're doing it wrong? No. No, I don't think you should do that.
Happy Summer, everybody! Let's make it a good one.