With the approaching holiday I’d like to bring up something that I and many other veterans struggle with each year.
Memorial Day is not the day to thank me or any veteran for their service.
Memorial Day is for those who died while serving their country, not those still alive.
We have our own day for that, Veterans Day. Not that we don’t appreciate being thanked. We do. Many vets, however, get frustrated that so many people have forgotten or never learned the true meaning of Memorial Day.
I have a complicated relationship with the Military Industrial Complex, and I totally understand and respect those who are working to tear it down and dismantle it. But in the hatred and rhetoric of protests, the very real humans who served in uniform, either voluntarily or were drafted and who lost their lives, often get forgotten.
For many who served, it was the only way to escape poverty or abuse. It was the only way to have a shot at a better life for themselves and their families. So even if you disagree with the politics of our war machine please don’t disrespect those who died in service to the ideals of this country.
You don’t have to go to the parade or visit the cemetery or do anything actively to show respect. Just don’t spew hatred or disrespect on social media. That is not too much to ask right?
A moment of silence and/or a toast during your BBQ wouldn’t go amiss either.
And FFS don’t say “Happy Memorial Day”.
“Wishing you a beautiful or meaningful or blessed Memorial Day” is better.
As for me I say: To all my fallen comrades, I remember you and your sacrifice.