Though the following mainly applies to the United States, I imagine the general message could be said of many nations.
Today is Memorial Day in the United States. Today, we're are supposed to be remembering those men and women who not only served this country, but died fighting for it in the process. This day remembers those from the American Revolution through, yes, even the wars in Iraq and Aghanistan (whether you agree with them is not the issue here. Don't make it one!).
And yet, to many people treat this as just a three day weekend, a little extra time off from work. They forget the true purpose of this day. As the son and grandson of surviving veterans, the nephew of one who died, I simply am aghast at how little attention is given to these fallen soldiers. You need only to walk through Arlington National Cemetary, pass the Vietnam and Korean War Memorials in Washington, DC, or even visit the graves of US soldiers still buried in France to see that is was actual men who gave their lives. Submariners refer to their fallen comrades as remaining on eternal patrol. Each soldier who died left a family and friends behind. They gave of themselves and yet many people rarely give them anything back in memory.
I find it fitting that it is raining outside my house right now. There will be no picnics or barbecues today, at least not here. Perhaps, just perhaps, when people are indoors today, maybe they'll think about what this day really means.
Somehow I doubt it.
Just saw this post today.
Yes, in the US the holiday now has become mainly as an excuse to not to go to work and generally hang out and have picnics/BBQ's/parties/etc. and forgetting the original purpose of the holiday. The same thing happens on Veterans Day.
As a former member of the Army (Who still has friends in the service and deployed overseas now), I *do* take out the time during these holidays to remember and honor those of us that have given the ultimate sacrifice so that we (And others, in the case of WWII and other wars) may live in freedom. My family takes out the time to have a moment of silence to respect their honor and courage, and others that have been with me during these times, although initially surprised, do also reflect that, "Oh, yeah, that was pretty cool. I think I do that next time."
So in my own way I am trying my part to remind others of the reasons for these special days. I hope that others that have read this thread also remember, and remind others to remember as well.
Shinichi Endymiron K
Timbal... HOOAH buddy. I'm former Army as is my father-in-law, my father, grandfather going back many many generations and in two countries USA and Greece. We all hold this day very sacred.