I never served, much to my shame. Instead, brave men and women fought and died for me.
Memorial Day for many has become nothing more than a Monday off and an opportunity to apologize for America’s military actions.
Screw that. Whether or not you agree with the nation’s policy makers, the soldiers do not deserve your ire. They’re not infallible–no one is–but for the most part they’re honorable and brave. They volunteer to face the evildoers of the world, after all. The least we can do is respect them.
This respect includes honoring those who have fallen. Memorial Day is the perfect day to do this. That’s what it’s for.
Remembering the fallen is an important ritual, as important as supporting and honoring those soldiers and veterans who are still with us. Memorial Day is a somber occasion in a dangerous world. There is nothing wrong with having fun with your family and friends, but a nation that forgets its past–forgets itself–will have a hard time holding the line against any other threats in the future.
My grandfather’s older brother never made it back from the Second World War. Brave people from my hometown lost their lives fighting the Islamic savages in Iraq and Afghanistan. Every day for the past 16 years–some years more than others–we hear stories of soldiers being injured or killed. Regardless of why we’re “over there,” the overwhelming bulk of this nation’s soldiers are fantastic people who just want to do good for their fellow citizens.
We can’t forget this military tradition. I do not like war, and in fact I think the United States is involved in far too many military actions around the world. Our feckless leadership likes to bomb places and send troops for reasons that aren’t always noble and pure. And who gets put into harm’s way? The soldiers.
I’m no chickenhawk. I’m not a military veteran. But I’m smart enough to know that it’s far preferable to be a warrior culture able to repel any threat than a self-loathing people who would welcome its oppressors to these shores with open arms. America can be classy, genteel–okay, we’re kind of rough around the edges, but I like that–and still be ready to throw down when the time comes.
A part of this includes honor, respect, and reverence. Acknowledge our fallen heroes today. Visit their graves. Call up their relatives. Remember the good in them and that their sacrifices were not meaningless, no matter what the garbage media and cultural establishments try to tell you.
And if you’re not feeling up to it, skip that Memorial Day cookout. Spend the day thinking, praying, and remembering. There’s always tomorrow to fire up the grill.
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