Monday, May 30, 2005

Mad about Memorial Day

I was listening to talk radio this morning and something the announcer said really pissed me off. He said he was 'unsure' that cookouts and parties were an appropriate observance of a somber holiday like Memorial day.

While it's true most of us enjoy the beer and food of the holiday cookouts they are also a time when family and friends gather and exchange stories of life and service - the exact thing we are memorializing. This weekend I spent time talking with my wife's cousin, a Lt. Colonel in the US Army Rangers, who has already served tours in both Afghanistan and Iraq and is soon returning for yet another tour. I also spent time talking to a 91 year old women who told me stories of her brother who flew in B-17s into Germany during WWII. He was killed on his 25th mission, just before he was slated to return home. If it weren't for these frivolous cookouts I wouldn't have heard their stories and the stories of the people they knew who served our country.

Then there was the young Marine, the son of a friend (a Vietnam vet himself), who home on leave from service in Afghanistan took the time to don his Marine dress blues and march in the local Memorial day parade. Is this day too somber for him to then sit back and relax with his friends and family with a beer and hotdogs? Hell no.

And of course, last but not least, I spent time this long weekend with my favorite veteran, my wife, who is a decorated medic from Desert Storm. I probably don't deserve her, but she sure as hell deserves a cookout without any neo-conservative guilt.

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