Saturday, May 29, 2010

It's Kinda Quiet Around Here . . .

. . . and you know what happens next in a movie after that line!

Seriously, I'm enjoying a little bit of "quiet time" before the Memorial Day weekend ramps up. We're lucky, in that nothing more strenuous than a dance recital and a cookout is planned. The dance recital involves two good friends (and one goddaughter) tapping like Ann Miller and the cookout involves watching a Kiwi deep-fry anything that isn't nailed down. (And even then, he'll probably pry about for loose nails!)

It's the beginning of full summer around the Nest. Dust off the white shoes, folks.

Memorial Day is an odd holiday. It's really only a "half" holiday - some businesses stay open, others close. My college, for example, will be open for classes. There are some parades, but most places hold off until the Fourth of July when schools are out. There are some speeches and some wreath-laying, but all in all, I think Memorial Day is thought of as potato salad and grill day.

And as I get older, that bugs me.

I come from a family with strong military ties - nothing special there, really. It's true of most American families, at least until mandatory service was discontinued with the rise of the all-volunteer military. My dad served in the time between Korea and Vietnam, one uncle made the Army medical corps his career, and several cousins served in Gulf 1 and the ongoing wars. I have friends who currently serve and a host of students who attend classes under the modified GI Bill. Those are not sacrifices that should be brushed aside. I may not like our involvement in Iraq, but I honor those who serve. (Afghanistan is another matter - I believe we had legitimate reasons for going in, but that hilly hell-land is called the "graveyard of empires" for a reason.) And North Korea is rattling sabers right now, which could lead to who-knows-what version of a mess.

I have a friend, Binary Biker, who is off on a Memorial Day trip to visit his new grandson. He's taking along a chunk of little paper American flags with the intent to visit a cemetery and place the flags on graves that are marked as the final resting places for veterans. It's a good idea - quiet and respectful.

Give it a thought, would you?

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