There will be many posts on the blogs today regarding Memorial Day. Hopefully, most of them remind us that originally it was called Decoration Day, and that families took flags and flowers to remember those family members who had passed too early in war. Or had just passed. Sometimes they’d even bring picnic foods to celebrate the person’s life.
Obviously, this has evolved into just a picnic holiday, forgetting the original meaning. After all, it is the official beginning of Summer, and we get off work, school, etc. And those who have gone before are still there, forgotten. And hey, Target has a sale!
I remember one Memorial Day in 1977. My Dad drafted me to come with him to visit the grave of my Mother, who passed when I was in the second grade. We didn’t come here often, and being 24, I’d just-as-soon have been anywhere else. And, my Dad mumbled something about his joining her soon. I thought he was just being maudlin.
Three months later he joined her. He knew something, and kept it a secret.
Please take a moment today, while you’re swimming, fishing, boating, picnicking, drinking beer, or partying to remember those who have gone before. It’s the least you can do.
And, as always, hug those still with you and tell them you love them. Do it NOW. You never know.
When I was growing up (in Arizona) my father made certain to show me evidence of Western history and culture. Western as in cowboy. 50s/60s TV helped. Not balanced or historically correct.
Part of what was taught to me was the difference between Cochise and Geronimo. Cochise initially fought the incursion of people from the East Coast, but eventually acceded to what was called manifest destiny and gave up. I was taught he was a great hero of his people. (See the 1950 film Broken Arrow for the politically-correct story).
But Geronimo was another matter. A warrior to the end, he never gave up fighting for his people, and was eventually captured and made a prisoner of war. He died in captivity. Some say he was murdered. I was taught he was a rebel and criminal who deserved what he got. We called these battles The Indian Wars.
Between the Indians co-existing with us as citizens, having their own ‘nations’, and being given special status and benefits from the government (based largely on our guilt for never honoring treaties and mistreatment of them), AND, the ever-popular meme of Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s The Noble Savage (the idea that as they were primitive cultures they were automatically more pure than we ‘cultured’ euro-trash) it’s a pretty complex relationship. Until the 1700s, many conquering forces simply eliminated those who didn’t assimilate. Less complex but barbaric. We did do some of that.
Special status, in spite of the whole melting pot meme; E Pluribus Unum, and equal rights for all. Some people are more equal than others.
Purportedly, Geronimo’s last words…
“I should have never surrendered. I should have fought until I was the last man alive.”
As a youth, I admired Cochise for his peaceable acquiescence to federal government authority. I tend to be siding more with Geronimo, now.
h/t Wikipedia, IMDB
In the United States the right to petition is guaranteed by the First Amendment to the federal constitution, which specifically prohibits Congress from abridging “the right of the people…to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
Although often overlooked in favor of other more famous freedoms, and sometimes taken for granted, many other civil liberties are enforceable against the government only by exercising this basic right. The right to petition is a fundamental in a Constitutional Republic, such as the United States, as a means of protecting public participation in government.(Wikipedia)
Way Up North (and now Tam) brought to our attention (in demure fanfare, as is their tradition) a movement regarding individual States of these United States petitioning for peaceful secession from the same!
I went to the All Petitions/whitehouse.gov website, and was amazed! First, that such a group of petitions existed and second, that ‘the government’ had allowed such behavior, given their track record on such things!
By my count, there 24 States, including mine, with listed petitions!
Is this treasonous, or simply the right to petition?
My friend Rev. Paul of Way Up North posted a remarkable post entitled Hatred, Intolerance and Obsession.
You should stop reading whatever it is you’re reading, including this blog, go to the link above, and read the post.
I’m not even posting snippets of it to ward you off and keep you here. Except this:
GEE, whoda thunk? (misspelled for effect – see previous post)
Yesterday was a horrific anniversary for our nation. If you saw my post (and the posts of many others) you’d have read about the
loss, dilution, forgetting of American Culture and History, and the consequences we have reaped.
Then, the news arrived…
Violent protests in Cairo over a largely unviewed film alleged to insult Mohammad. And the rocket attack in Libya, killing our ambassador and three other staffers. American flags burned, buildings looted and our citizens and officials killed. Coinciding with the anniversary of September 11.
The administration reportedly issued an apology for offending Muslims, and is sending in the Marines to beef-up security.
An apology? Seriously?
“The Embassy of the United States in Cairo condemns the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims – as we condemn efforts to offend believers of all religions. Today, the 11th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States, Americans are honoring our patriots and those who serve our nation as the fitting response to the enemies of democracy. Respect for religious beliefs is a cornerstone of American democracy. We firmly reject the actions by those who abuse the universal right of free speech to hurt the religious beliefs of others.” (U.S. State Department)
The President did say he strongly condemned the ‘outrageous’ attack.
Of course, this is the paradox. Just because we supported the removal of the previous regime(s) doesn’t automatically mean the replacements will be U.S. friendly. No matter how much money and materiel we
bribe aid them with! Sadly, this is a lesson we have never learned.
I’ve stated before political correctness will be the death of us.
I’m not for starting wars. But, I am for protecting ourselves and our citizens.
Borepatch, today addresses the counter-arguments brought forth every August 6 regarding the use of atomic weaponry in Japan, effectively ending World War Two. This remains a difficult subject, as many civilians were killed as a result of U.S. actions. It is interesting to note that President Truman had no previous knowledge of THE BOMB, until he assumed the Presidency only a couple months earlier. But, he made the decision to act, undoubtedly saving the lives of millions of American troops and countless Japanese.
Go to the link above, and read his assessment and make your own decision. And if it’s your way, say a prayer for all the dead in all wars.
And thanks, Lonnie, for reminding me.
…and the maroons who say ‘Happy Memorial Day’ on TV and Radio.
…and Brigid said it best! It’s Not About a Day Off from Work
No reason to be maudlin. Solemn would be nice. Remembrance.
I used to spend Memorial Day watching Uncommon Valor, but I can’t anymore. It’s just a movie.
I miss you brother. Thank you for your service.
(click on the photo to see what I previously wrote about my friend – Guffaw)
h/t Tin Can Assassin, Cathy Bell, Brigid, and all who gave all
Bayou Renaissance Man reminds us that February 19 was the 67th Anniversary of the United States Marines landing on Iwo Jima.
The struggle was titanic, and for the first time in the Pacific war the Marines suffered more casualties than the Japanese (26,031 killed, wounded and captured versus 22,060, although over 99% of the Japanese casualties were killed compared to less than 27% of US casualties). 27 Medals of Honor were awarded, 13 of them posthumously – more than a quarter of all MoH awards to Marines during the Pacific War.
Think about that.
To ultimately take a tiny island that was nothing except strategic.
The beginning of the end of the war.
The World War I Generation Is Gone
Shall Not Be Questioned reports that the last World War I veteran has died at 110.
She was a woman, who served as a mess steward. The last combat veteran died in May 2010 in Australia.
Thank you for your service, ma’am.
You and all the others who were in The Great War we will remember always.
Requiescat in Pace
SEVENTY YEARS AGO, TODAY…
“…. December 7th, 1941 — a date which will live in infamy — the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.” – President Franklin Roosevelt.
Some folks believe FDR had advance knowledge of the attack and let it happen, to bring us out of the Great Depression, something other folks believe his policies prolonged and exacerbated.
And, post-war, this nation took off.
Remember our post-war history?
Big automobiles, cheap gasoline, the birth of suburban sprawl, Baby Boomers, television, hula hoops, frisbees, the interstate highway system, motels, the CIA, the NSA?
And we turned Japan into an ally, and taught them to be an industrial giant. And now they lead much of the world in automobiles and electronics. And make many things in this country.
Now China is selling some of our debt to them.
Today, we should remember America’s fighting men and women, and the sacrifices they made.
All because a feudal society thought they could take on the World, and lost.
Remember what happened after, as with what followed 9/11. The Patriot Act, The TSA?
Is our government owning up to it’s credo, in oaths taken:
“I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic…”
In other words, protecting our liberty?
Remember 70 years ago today, and after.