It is our custom to dedicate the last Monday in May to the memorializing of our Military men and women who have lost their lives in combat. This should be so, in my opinion. These days, from the voices I hear everywhere, some of the purpose of the special day has been replaced by a 'holiday' feeling. Some are joyfully planning to spend their day with parties and cook outs, parades and celebration.
You might think I'm finding fault. Maybe I am, in a way. If the celebrating is done because we are rejoicing in the freedoms we enjoy because our soldiers fought for them, fine....but I'm more inclined to think that the frolicking is due to the fact that there's no work or school that day. My mother tells me that the parades in her day were somber affairs...not fun-filled times. I'm not big on doom and gloom, believe me, but I don't propose a nationwide day of funeral atmosphere.
I do think, though, that a healthy dose of respect is due those who gave the ultimate sacrifice, whether it was as a volunteer or a draftee.
On another note, often Memorial Day is used by some to honor those who are actively involved the Military now or those who have been who are still living. It is right and good that they are honored, but there is a day set aside in November for that purpose.
While I'm at it, there are many who have been involved in the 'war effort' who are rarely recognized. Think of the many women during WWII who spent time rolling bandages for the Red Cross, or knitted socks and sweaters for the servicemen overseas, or the 'Rosie the Riveters'. I'm sure that there must be some today who are doing some service here at home that supports the men and women who are fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. How often do we hear of them? They, too, should be noticed and recognized for their work for their country. Maybe we should have
another day to truly celebrate these lives...maybe we could call it Volunteer Day. That would cover all those selfless souls who get up in the middle of the night to do EMT services, those who leave their tables to save someone's home from fire, those who read to children, those who take a child under their wing to give them guidance, etc. These are precious people who are all saving some part of our lives and country.
I offer my sincere appreciation for each one of them, and I give them a standing ovation!