Memorial Day : LUSENET : I'd Rather Eat Glass : One Thread

This weekend is Memorial Day. A nice long weekend where everyone decides to go camping and on trips because they have Monday off. My question is when did we forget what Memorial Day really is? What do you do on Memorial Day? What does Memorial Day mean to you?

-- Anonymous, May 26, 2000


Good question. My father is a Vietnam vet. My father is alive, but traumatized for life by what he experienced in B-F-Nam (as I called it when I was learning to speak). In a personal way, I mourn the man my father would have been, the man I never knew, the man he was growing into when he went to Vietnam, when he was 20 and I was an infant.

Unfortunately, this year also means that the web site I'm building for a magazine is debuting on June 1st and I'll be working 23 hours a day until then (one hour off for long hot showers) and Monday means I have an extra day since I won't have school...

-- Anonymous, May 26, 2000

I'll be flying the flag this weekend in honor of those who fought to keep me and my family safe. I was brought up that way... I can remember my father putting up the stars and stripes for every holiday... and how we would stand at attention with our right hand over our hearts when we heard the national anthem, even if it was just on tv or radio.

My dad fought in WWII, he was in the D-Day invasion. He's gone now, we lost him a few years ago at age 85, but I'll be flying the flag in his memory and in honor of him (and of you, Travis) and of all the men and women who served.

Hey, Travis, thank you.

-- Anonymous, May 26, 2000

Great question, Travis. Memorial Day to me means more than getting a day off of work. It's a day for me to think about those that have given their lives for our country and our freedom. It's a day to remember those that have lost both their lives and portions of their lives for us... I hope we never forget that!

-- Anonymous, May 26, 2000

I wish I could lie and say that Memorial Day means remembering war heros and the commitment many men have had to keep this country what it is. But, it doesn't.

My father was a Vietnam Vet. He ignored Memorial Day the whole time I have been alive. He has not talked about his time there, other than to mention stories about shopping or returning home. I don't know what he did there. He has never cared to share that with me.

Memorial Day for me means the end of the school year and waking up early to march in a parade with the Shriners. It meant that I was going to be free for the summer and that the days were stretched out before me. As an adult, I still wake up on Memorial Day and think about marching and playing the Star Spangled Banner.


-- Anonymous, May 27, 2000

Being not american, but Canadian, Memorial Day is not a holiday. However, in Canada we remember those who served to protect our freedoms on November 11. I grew up in Africa under the British flag and remember every November 11 being marched along to the local graveyard where there was a flag and memorial set up for the fallen soldiers.

Now, I am living with a woman who was in the armed forces in Canada for 21 years. On November 11 at 11 am we still stand still and remember those whom have given so much so that we can enjoy this great land. November 11 at 11 is used as this was when the Great War, the war to end all wars, officially ended.

On a different note, the weekend before is a holiday weekend here, Victoria Day, named after Queen Victoria. The alternative name... 2- 4 weekend, as the weekend falls either on May 24 or close to it, and the weekend is sent in the wilds celerating the return of Spring with a 24 of beer.

-- Anonymous, May 29, 2000

My father, like so many late-70's engineers in Silicon Valley, worked for a Department of Defense contractor. I had nightmares about the work he did--he designed guidance and surveillance equipment for the Apache and other millitary helicopters. My father enables the government to kill people more quickly, basically.

I have always been a pacifist, but I'm also a realist. War is horrible but necessary, and while I have immense respect for the people who go into battle, I fear the government who makes it necessary. We did not celebrate Memorial Day in my family. None of us wanted to think about all the people my father had indirectly killed through his work.

In a perfect world, nobody would ever die because their government told them to.

This is not a perfect world.

Nobody will ever accuse me of being a patriot, I'm afraid. I was born here by an accident of fate and I've been terribly aware of the price of my well-being all my life. War is not glorious; war is painful and dangerous and horrible and expensive both in terms of goods and of human life. I fear the government because I am one of those people whose rights could be legislated out of existence if the wrong people get control of the government. I fear a government which fears me.

The price of my ever so fragile freedoms is this blood on my hands.

-- Anonymous, May 30, 2000

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