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Happy Memorial Day… Is that an oxymoron? May 30, 2010

Posted by 5 Wester in General Announcements.
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Is there anything “happy” about remembering someone’s death?

It’s been a while since I’ve written anything of value on this blog. Not wanting to apologize to the readers (if I still have any) all I can say is, I’m sorry for not writing anything lately. I’ve seen the blog stats and although I’m thrilled to see the numbers off the charts, I know it was a bit of a disappointment for most readers since the last entry was back in March. Yes, I too was a victim of poor time management (mainly my fault), and with all the transitions taking place in my life (the job change, finishing my BSIT, catching up with the mortgage, etc.), I find myself less inclined to immortalize my thoughts and focus more on living. Although I’m sure I’ll be able to make up for time lost… have a few interesting encounters these last couple of months. It’s a good thing I don’t blog for a living, I would have been fired by now!

My wife and kids decided to take a drive down South Padre Island to see the sun set. We were surprised to see an island packed with people. Cars, motorcycles, trucks, tailgate parties, etc. We soon realize that it was Memorial Day weekend… a long weekend at that. How did we forget? I guess this is the consequence of not having any cable TV (story on that later).

Yes, it is Memorial Day on Monday, the last Monday in may, formerly known as “Decoration Day“. As I look around, I noticed that stores had “Memorial Day” sales signs, people were partying, and the general tone was festive. Reading its history I found out that this was a day to remember those who lost their lives during the war… initially to honor the Union soldiers who lost their lives during the American Civil War. Eventually this was expanded to include all who died in America’s wars. If this were the case, shouldn’t this day be a solemn day?

I’m not talking about “religious” solemn day, more like a “quiet” day to remember and honor those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. None of that “Memorial Day Sale” stuff… none of that “Memorial Day Party” stuff (unless the deceased love to party of course). Just a day of quiet to honor those who died. Would it be inappropriate to say “Happy Memorial Day”?

I guess we can say we are happy because we enjoy the freedoms we enjoy. Not happy that people had to die for it, however, with great sacrifice comes great reward… and for now, we are enjoying that reward. As for me, I wouldn’t “celebrate” this day with parties or store sales, but rather, with a humble and solemn attitude, to HONOR those who lost their lives, so that we can live free. Where’s the HONOR in taking advantage of that sale and getting a great deal on a big screen TV? Wouldn’t that cheapen their sacrifice? Therefore, I boycott all stores holding Memorial Day Sales during Memorial Day. I know the economy is bad, but not bad enough that we need to commercialize something that was meant to be a day of remembrance.

Am I nuts to think this way? Is there any justification for me to go to a Memorial Day Sale or Memorial Day party when the loved ones of those deceased visit their graves? How would you “celebrate” this day? Personally, I do not have any loved ones who made the ultimate sacrifice, however, I do empathize with those who did. I’ve been around death and dying enough to know that to lose someone is one of the most tragic of life’s events. I had that fear recently when my wife ended up in the ER (that’s another story). Nevertheless, regardless of how you celebrate “Memorial Day”, I hope it is done in HONOR of those who gave their lives.

Have a Great Memorial Day everyone!