Words of Advice:

"If Something Seems To Be Too Good To Be True, It's Best To Shoot It, Just In Case." -- Fiona Glenanne

"Foreign Relations Boil Down to Two Things: Talking With People or Killing Them." -- Unknown

"Mobs Do Not Storm the Capitol to Do Good Deeds." -- not James Lee Burke

"Colt .45s; putting bad guys underground since 1873." -- Unknown

"Stay Strapped or Get Clapped." -- probably not Mr. Rogers

"Let’s eat all of these people!” — Venom

"Eck!" -- George the Cat

Monday, May 25, 2020

This is Not Memorial Day

It shouldn't be. (Track back my usual rant, going back a dozen years.)

We're losing the World War II servicemen and women, along with the millions who went into the factories and shipyards, by the thousands each day. The children who helped raise nine million tons of produce in Victory Gardens a year are not much younger.

The day that we remember what they did should be a solemn day. It should not be a day devoted to barbecues, traveling, shopping, and driving while intoxicated.

I know it'll never be moved back to the 30th. The travel and retail lobbyists would throw fits (and cash campaign donations). Those critters only offer lip service to those who have died in service (or after serving) to our nation. Those venal snakes don't give a shit about anything else.

But it's wrong and as long as I'm doing this blog, expect something like this post each year.

P.S., Don't be a chucklehead and thank living veterans for their service. Memorial Day honors the dead, not the living.


Deadstick said...

Funerals at Arlington are being conducted under social-distancing procedures: https://www.cnn.com/2020/05/25/politics/memorial-day-arlington-national-cemetery-coronavirus/index.html

The article is not clear on whether the Tomb Guards are masked.

Ten Bears said...

Nor should there be parades. No marching bands gleefully bleating out John Lennon songs, no preening politicians polluting the back seat of a car none of us will ever afford, no foo-foo dance clubs tossing candy in the gutter for the kids. No flyovers.

Do not thank me. Do not ever thank me.

Deadstick said...

There will be an online wreath laying ceremony at the Navy Memorial at 1 PM Eastern. www.navymemorial.org

Stewart Dean said...

My father graduated Yale Med around 1940 and was immediately swept into an Evacuation Hospital (The WWII equivalent of a MASH) made of Yale Med/Nursing staff, professors and recent graduates. As with most, he didn't talk of it much, but when we took him to the original MASH movie, he came out shaking his head, saying, 'It was just like that, only crazier'. You can read more here:

When he was at Yale Med, the very first of the wonder drugs came in, then penicillin during the war...they weren't just wonder drugs, they made him shake his head in wonder at what they did. For he had be trained before then, when medicine could do little but support the ill to hope that finally, finally their immune systems would find a way to counter the disease. There was then precious few cures, just support and preventative vaccinations for a few diseases. When my mother fell to polio when I was a year old, there was nothing to do but the iron lung and support...she survived almost totally paralyzed. Damn betcha, we got vaccinated, Salk and Sabin, both.

The point, the irony, is that 80 years after my father's training, he would be nearly as able, perhaps better able, to deal with the virus as any doc of today. We assumed that the CDC and just-in-time (for-profit, what a scam) medicine would head any contagion off at the pass before it became an epidemic. But we became increasingly casual about the danger of contagion to our increasingly fragile economy and life...as if were entitled to invulnerability, as if public health was something you gave lip service to, if you thought of it at all.

You might as well believe that Trump, the GOP and conservatism endow the country with a sort of Ghost Shirt....

Tod Germanica said...

My 93 year old daddy was a 40mm Bofers AA gun clip loader on an exposed gun mount. The ship wad the 'Kaiser coffin' escort carrier USS Corregidor off Okinawa.
Only last year he told us about being stranded on the overturned hull of the Captain's gig while the carrier hared off to chase a Japanese sub contact. Not sure how the gig capsized but he said nobody clinging to the hull was especially worried when the Corregidor swept over the horizon. And sure enough they were finally picked up without issue.
Can you imagine the guts those skinny young men had. And my dad never even mentioned this episode.
Contrast that with the present IMPOTUS president* bragging about his toughness and bravery when he dodged the draft during the Vietnam War and constantly degrading military men and women, veterans and Gold Star family members.
Trump honored our military dead with a round of golf at his country club.
But I'm sure it was a solumn round of golf, played soberly in honor of our war dead. Fore!

Leo Knight said...

The first time I actually understood what Memorial Day meant happened by accident. I had the day off, and my wife, a history buff, suggested we drive up to Gettysburg. We found the town decorated with flags and hunting, and were told a parade would commence soon. Reenactors dressed in historical costumes marched up main street. But we noticed many were carrying bouquets of flowers. It was then I realized the parade went to the cemetery... Memorial Day.

B said...

In most small towns, the Parade ends at the cemetery....Lots of city folks don't know that, 'cause Memorial Day is a party day in the cities and towns. They've forgotten why it is a special day.

And I agree with you about the date. Should not be a moveable holiday so Federal workers can get an extra day off.

Comrade Misfit said...

You always have to blame the Federal workers, B. It's got nothing to do with them. Federal holidays apply to almost everyone. Almost everyone gets today off, other than in healthcare and first responders (most of the latter work for governments).

It has everything to do with the retail and hospitality industries cashing in.

B said...

True. But it was Congress that passed the act that gave people three day weekends.
Aimed at the Federal workers.

I don't blame the Federal workers. I blame Congress.

And don't forget that most service workers also work on those Federal holidays. Waiters, hotel staff, etc. Lots of line workers don't get the day off. Steel mills, refineries, other industries...lots of places like that never stop. And lets not forget many military and police.

I believe that having a moving holiday weakens the import of the holiday.

Borepatch said...


When I was growing up (1960s and 70s) I didn't know my best friend's dad had been in Normandy (D+10 or something) and fought all the way to Germany. He just never talked about it.

In the 1990s he started talking about it. I asked why he hadn't when we were young and he said that he had wanted to put it behind him. He had a growing family, etc. But in the 90s he wanted us to know about his buddies who never came back.

I've thought about this a lot this weekend. It's absolutely NOT "thank a veteran weekend".

dinthebeast said...

Trump did tweet: “HAPPY MEMORIAL DAY!”

-Doug in Sugar Pine