Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial Day 2008

Well, here it is again. Memorial Day. I was moved to revisit my post in re Memorial Day from lasy year, and find that little has changed. My son again played at the Memorial Day service at a local church, a service that this year was a little less blindly pro-military but still uncomfortably tilting toward hero-worship. I'm too much a believer in our American concept of a military that is subordinate to civilian authority, and consider it more than a little dangerous when "honoring" turns into "elevating."

There seems also the ongoing argument about what Memorial Day is "supposed" to be. Again was repeated the refrain, "This is not All-Saints Day," the implicating being that one is not "supposed" to be remembering non-military dead on this day. And yet the service in question tilts heavily toward honoring all those in or ever in uniform--there was the obligatory moment where all veterans in the congregation were asked to stand, and everyone else applauded. Well, this is Memorial Day, not Veterans Day, and if one is to be technical (as, evidently, one is), then one should stick to the idea that it's "supposed" to be about honoring those who have died while in service to their country...not those who served their country, came home, and died 50 years later.

That said, I have already devoted a certain amount of the day reflecting upon my parents...even though Mom was never in the military and Dad did his two years back in the '50s. I have decided to forgo the cemetery visit--I prefer to do my mourning in a more private way, and the place is just too darn populated on Memorial Day. I don't mind the deceased population; it's the living who are a little too much to take. We planted flowers at the grave on Saturday, and I will visit there at some other time, some more private time.

You see, every day is Memorial Day.

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