It's Memorial Day. I have assiduously avoided cookouts and picnics today and have, instead, stayed in and gotten caught up on some things. I did buy a swimsuit this weekend, which means I should be congratulated on braving the crowds at the mall and that my denial about living in LA is finally breaking down. I've been here three years. I have a lovely pool in my complex, and yet, I have not owned a bathing suit. I am a gradual assimilator.
On a more somber note, it is Memorial Day and without meaning any disrespect to the men and women in the military and our veterans, this seems particularly problematic to me this year. It would be less vexed, in my mind, to memorialize our fallen soldiers if we weren't putting them in harm's way on a daily basis. Take NBC's Memorial Day page, for example. Flags and sympathy. Here is a sample card:
Here is what Bush had to say two years ago on Memorial Day:
Each Memorial Day, we pray for peace throughout the world, remembering what was gained and what was lost during times of war. From the bravery of the men at Valley Forge, to the daring of Normandy, the courage of Iwo Jima, and the steady resolve in Afghanistan and Iraq, our men and women in uniform have won for us every hour that we live in freedom. During this year's observance, we particularly recognize the courageous spirit of the men and women in our Nation's Armed Forces who are working with our coalition partners to restore civil order, provide critical humanitarian aid, and renew Afghanistan and Iraq. As we honor those who have served and have been lost, we better understand the meaning of patriotism and citizenship, and we pledge that their sacrifices will not be in vain.It's just sad; that's what I'm saying.