Memorial Day, 2024

Greetings and Salutations…

As I type this, the last few minutes of Memorial Day Eve are ticking away. It has been a little while since I visited this day, so, I thought it was well past time to rectify that.

I have seen several posts on Social Media saying things like “Have a happy Memorial Day”…so I want to address this first. Too many Americans seem to have forgotten the meaning of Memorial Day. It is the day that we, as citizens, should participate in a commemorative period, remembering the many, many citizens who, over the last 250 or so years, have given their lives in defense of this country. They placed the Constitution and the Rule of Law ahead of their own sense of self-preservation. While there may have been many factors that lead them to enlist, and sign that blank check, when that hard decision came, they did not break and run…they stood and fought to their last breath.

General William Tecumseh Sherman, famously, said “War is Hell” Due to his role in America’s Civil War, he certainly had plenty of experience to back up this pithy statement. One consistent reality of war is that we, as a society, always send our young men and women to take up arms. No matter the outcome of war, this shaves away some of the best, and most honorable citizens when they are killed. It also leaves huge percentages of the families of the casualties with trauma that may never heal. This trauma can continue to affect a family for decades and generations, affecting their quality of life.

I often suggest to folks that, in my opinion, one of the best ways we could honor our dead is to work diligently to make sure we do not add to their numbers. Alas, too many Americans, being too young or ignorant to remember America being in a real war, are far too ready to take up arms and interfere in the affairs of other countries with force. I grew up in the 50s and 60s…so I knew people from the Korean War, and, often ate dinner to the daily body count from Vietnam, regularly broadcast on the radio at the dinner hour.

Nick Ut/The Associated Press

We were bombarded with images from Vietnam of atrocities committed by both sides. On top of that, during those two decades, the Cold War was in full swing, and almost on a daily basis, we would hear a radio personality ranting about how the “Godless Commies” were going to cover the country with mushrooms from nuclear weapons. All of this, and more, left me with a strong set of values that said War may be an option..but it MUST be the last possible option.

Why is Memorial Day this year on my mind? Well, the major reason is the political turmoil over the past 8 years. The administration of #45 nurtured some truly horrific changes in society. In all my years, I never thought I would see neo-Nazis openly marching in American streets, chanting their intolerant and hate-filled slogans. I never thought that I would see a day where the person in the Oval Office would openly say he was supportive of stop and search, and the confiscation of guns without any previous due process. I REALLY never thought I would see insurrectionists breaching the Capitol, searching for lawmakers in the halls, with the intent of killing them, and doing their best to destroy the Congressional responsibility to certify the results of a valid election, egged on by the lies pushed by #45 and various propaganda outlets. I never thought that I would see a day where the followers of one political party were engulfed in such a cult-like mentality that they would actively seek to murder other citizens, who had a different political view. I could go on, but, these few examples I have given are but a skim of the surface of lies and delusion that engulf the Right Wing. More detailed information is available online.

We have citizens calling for another Civil War, to wipe out those that are “attempting to destroy their country”. While I do not expect such a war would happen, if it were to happen though, we, Americans, would be adding to the many names remembered on Memorial Day..and we would have done it by killing each other. Is this the country we want to have? Brother fighting brother, one side trying to protect and defend the Constitution, the other side openly trying to create a fascist dictatorship and destroy the Constitution.

I believe that the spirits of those Fallen are looking down at America with horror and disbelief. Many of them died defending the world against exactly the sort of dictatorship a significant portion of the voting public is clamoring for. The citizens who are attempting to overthrow the Constitution are disrespecting those Fallen, and spitting on their memories.

Right now, it is difficult for me to come up with a way to help address the issues and heal them. We, who still love the country, and the Constitution have failed both over the past 40 plus years. Too many of us have allowed apathy to keep us away from the polls. Too many of us believe that our votes do not count, so we do not bother to vote. As I have said before…that opinion is based on a lie pushed by those that want to get their agenda locked in. The Right knows that there are more Left-wingers in the country, so every one they can convince, with lies, or changes in the rules to disenfranchise them, is a double win. However, there is one, simple thing that we, who care for the country and Constitution CAN do. That is…get out and vote BLUE in every election from now on. Not only will we see the Right’s control of the Government shrink, but, even if we do not manage to put a liberal candidate into a given office, the number of votes for them will be a clear reminder to the Right that there is significant opposition to their policies out there.

God help Us All!

Be safe, get vaccinated, wash your hands well, and social distance. Mask if necessary.


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