Today is Memorial Day
May 29, 2000 1:10 PM   Subscribe

Today is Memorial Day
posted by aladfar (18 comments total)
You'll not find a more ardent pacifist than myself.

Which is perhaps why Memorial day is so important to me. We should all take a least a few minutes this day to remember those who gave their lives fighting for our country.

posted by aladfar at 1:17 PM on May 29, 2000

I agree...
The beauty of the web is you learn something new with every click...

I was just reading Powazek's story in Amsterdam (which ::sniff::, really got to me for some reason).... I always thought Memorial Day was another "American-Only" holiday...

Before I fire up the grill, and scope the girls at the pool party next door...

I also want to extend my sorrows and heartfelt wishes to all family members out there who will never know the fate of their loved ones missing in action. It's their day too. :0(
posted by EricBrooksDotCom at 2:16 PM on May 29, 2000

Dutch memorial day (remembrance day) is on May 4th, by the way. The day after, May 5th, we celebrate Liberation Day. :-)
posted by prolific at 2:58 PM on May 29, 2000

Hand salute...

posted by baylink at 3:05 PM on May 29, 2000

posted by Zeldman at 3:07 PM on May 29, 2000

I was pleasantly surprised (though, in retrospect, I shouldn't have been surprised at all) to see a public observance of Memorial Day at a Renaissance Faire this afternoon. It was a bit odd, though, to see the color guard for the American flag all dressed in costumes that predated said flag by centuries.
posted by harmful at 3:35 PM on May 29, 2000

lest we forget
posted by tomcosgrave at 4:00 PM on May 29, 2000

I'll refer to my earlier post which no one had anything to say about. I remember my friends that died, there were a few. But, for me... nothing can make me feel any differently.
posted by Dean_Paxton at 6:38 PM on May 29, 2000


I responded to your post in another place.

The neglect of veterans is shameful and it goes back for centuries.

Bellevue, the mental hospital that's a few blocks from where I live, was originally a home for Civil War veterans who had lost arms, legs, jaws, eyes, noses ... you can imagine what the medical treatments were like back then.

Bellevue was a place where they could be confined, so the rest of the population did not have to look at them.

That was caring for veterans - and it was humane compared to how veterans of later wars have sometimes been treated.
posted by Zeldman at 6:58 PM on May 29, 2000

Thank you.

posted by Mick at 7:09 PM on May 29, 2000

Amen Brother
posted by EricBrooksDotCom at 8:33 PM on May 29, 2000

Thanks you guys are the only people who had any kind words for me on this day, which I spent most of drinking. hahaha
posted by Dean_Paxton at 9:27 PM on May 29, 2000

Well Dean, I think the problem stems from the words: "those who gave their lives..."

Most people assume that means "those who died".
Most people don't know that there are worse things than dying....
posted by EricBrooksDotCom at 10:07 PM on May 29, 2000

Well put Eric. I may quote that someday.

There are good groups out there helping. The D.A.V. (and others) do a lot for themselves. They have a lot of political support, but thier ranks are aging. Many of them are WWII era vets and are not able to support the organizations, so they are loosing numbers as that generation is quickly, sadly dying off.

Subsequently, the Vietnam era veterans broke away from them years ago due to the fact that the two groups were very different with little in common. That's a whole different story.

The same thing is happening to the Panama/Gulf era veterans, they can't tolerate the Vietnam guys either AND are not very active in those types of groups

The good news is that there are an awful lot of Vietnam era veterans (1962-1975) who will probably pick up the standard and keep fighting. We'll see I guess.
posted by Dean_Paxton at 11:46 PM on May 29, 2000

Its shameful that any country which asks its people to face the kind of horrors the rest of us can't even imagine neglects them so badly. There is a long-running debate in the UK about the use of organo-phosphates (OPs) and the link between them and gulf-war syndrome. Something our government denied strenuously despite banning the use of OPs on farms due to the effects of health on farmers
posted by Markb at 8:41 AM on May 30, 2000

It's absolutely important to remember our war dead. I salute any veteran in the audience.

That said, I wish that Memorial Day weren't constantly accompanied by this weenie guilt-trip that slams the barbecuers and guzzlers. Sure, it's generally seen as an excuse for a lazy summer cook-out. But they're doing this because they can, because we are secure and supreme and well-fed and all those wonderful things. I guess I wish more veterans would say not "I look around and see people who don't even remember there was ever a war ... Damned shame." and instead "I look around and see happy people secure in the peace we've won for them ... Hot Damn!"

Memorial Day and Veterans Day both used to be more important when there were so many Civil War casualties and veterans, then WWI casualties and veterans, then WWII, then Korea and Vietnam ... but with the passing of the WWII generation there will be many fewer families affected directly by any war. This is a good thing; this is, in effect, the point.
posted by dhartung at 9:47 AM on May 30, 2000

Here in Britain, I think we have the cultural advantage of being able to focus our memories on the month of November, when the shortening days and autumnal gloom fits the mood. It's hard not to think of the trenches on days like those. And the two-minutes' silence now observed nationally (if not officially) on the 11th usually punctuates a working day, and is all the more poignant because of it.
posted by holgate at 11:31 AM on May 30, 2000

I don't really disagree with you. However, it's not the war that should be remembered, it's the people. More importantly, it's not the dead people who are most important. It's the living and neglected ones. So while people are enjoying themselves there are 33 million homeless people, or which 50-70% are veterans. But, as to your point, you are right. But, lemme tell you, you don't want to be the guy with that opinion amongst a roomfull of veterans...
posted by Dean_Paxton at 12:34 PM on May 30, 2000

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