America By Rote

American flag

Today is Memorial Day, where Americans honor our fallen soldiers with parades and cookouts and basically having parties, doing so just because it’s a thing we’re supposed to do. Which, writing it out, seems a little weird, but I never thought of that much until this year.

I know, I know: The fallen heroes would rather have us enjoy our freedoms instead of moping about like a bunch of sad-sacks who don’t have the common courtesy to at least enjoy what their lives had bought us.

But how many of us consciously honor the fallen as we make our celebratory hot dogs? I don’t know. And honestly, I don’t know if it matters anymore. To most people, Memorial Day is a Monday off from work when they can get drunk and go to the beach. I can’ t say that I’m going to any memorials or cookouts or parades (mainly because I’m living in a part of the country where I don’t know anybody).

If you are a military family though, or one who has served, this day is incredibly important to you and I’m not trying to denigrate what it was established for one bit. Remember and mourn for your fallen comrades and family members. They are certainly worth remembering.

It makes me think though: What have the lives of these fallen men and women bought us? Look around America these days. What do you see? I see many different Americas that really don’t like each other. I see an America tearing itself apart over some of the stupidest stuff on the face of the planet. I see an America that is under attack by a bloodthirsty enemy, and our institutions bend over backwards to defend that enemy. Is this their legacy?

If I was an American soldier sent to die in some desert on behalf of people who hate us so that weapons makers and defense contractors can make a boatload of money under the audacious auspices of the “nation-building” lie, I’d be seeking revenge from beyond the grave right about now.

If you’ve been following me at all, you likely noticed that I’m not nearly as sanguine about America’s future as I was a year or so ago. I’ve kind of soured on the whole idea of “We’re all in this together!” Because while that’s how feel, it’s difficult to be in it together, whatever “it” is, when a hundred million or more of your fellow countrymen disagree with you, and likely hate you to boot.

A year ago I wrote that

It’s better to honor the fallen and keep them in our prayers, as well as continue to pray and support those who are still out there any way we can. 

It’s a somber day and a dangerous world. As cliche as it sounds, I am thankful to those who have all paid the ultimate price for my freedom and try to remember and honor them. I suggest you do the same.

And I still mean that. Every word of it. The fallen were men and women who very often volunteered to be shot at by the bad guys so that people like me can blog about stuff and have an office job. I just wish that what they fought and died for was worth it. Looking around, I’m not so sure that it was.

America, whatever that means anymore, is still the best place to live. But I think that says more about the rest of the world than it does us.

So God bless, you fallen heroes of America’s many wars. Some of us haven’t forgotten what you died for. We’ll try to make sure we can live up to the example you set for us.

Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

John 15:13

Follow me on Twitter @DaytimeRenegade and Gab.ai @DaytimeRenegade

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