Its Memorial Day Weekend – We remember those that gave their lives for our country in wars. It began after the Civil War, a conflict that led to the deaths of more Americans that any other, before or since. The last Monday in May is a day we remember all those who were lost. Whether on the fields of Gettysburg, or the plains of Mexico, or the trenches of the Ardennes, or the islands in the Pacific, the paddys of Vietnam, the hell holes of Korea or the deserts of Iraq or Afganistan, it makes no difference. Millions of Americans, men and women, paid the ultimate price so we can go to Costco, pick up some beer and chips, and have a day off.
Yes it’s a bit more than that. We have our problems, but we are the most free country on the planet. We can yell, complain, write letters, picket, and even riot a bit and nothing happens. We can call our leaders names, and have. We can hold opposition meetings and do. Our TV shows, the internet blogs, and our mainstream media are full of complaints and differing ideas. Many are crazy, most have little support, but they can be said, without fear. We worship as we like, whether Christian, Jew, Muslim, Buddist, Wiccan, or any other. No one tells us we can’t. And no one tells us we must.
More than half the people in the world live in countries where the above isn’t true. Those who don’t “toe” the party line live in fear. In some places worshiping a certain way can mean death. Saying certain words can lead to prison.
This weekend there will be parades, celebrations, flags everywhere, and lots of military marching, desplaying, and showing off. Go visit them, take a few minutes and tell them thanks. Who knows, next year we may be remembering them on Memorial Day.
This Monday, before you fire up that grill and start to argue about illegal immigration or gun control or the health care bill, the economy, or who is responsible for the oil in the gulf, take a second to thank those millions who made sure you were able to have that conversation.
See you in four days.