Memorial Day, a national holiday in the United States was originally known as Decoration Day and set aside to commemorate the Union and Confederate deaths from the U.S. Civil War. It evolved through the 20th century as a day to commemorate all of the War Dead of the United States.
It is not a day to thank veterans. That day is Veterans Day. Veterans Day is more for those who survived. Memorial Day is a day about the war dead. This is very important. It is interesting that it was originally conceived as a memorial to the war dead of both sides of a particularly nasty and completely American war. In its origin lies the real meaning, I think, of what should be remembered.
That is, that war is about death. That in most cases, if humans were not so stupid, it could have been avoided. In almost every case, it is about powerful men who manipulate those with less power to rally for a cause that really does not affect them. I wish there were better reasons for war, I really do. Perhaps war can be eradicated from human existence. I have my doubts. More likely, humans have just enough anger , righteousness, impatience, and greed to make war a perpetual blight on our existence.
I feel no pride on Memorial Day…only sadness. Violence and death are sad at any level, but in war, one side thinks it has the right to kill thousands, sometimes millions to fight for what it thinks is right. War is murder on steroids , speed, and cocaine . The hippies had a saying: “What if they had a war and nobody came?” I wish that you could convince enough people of this that it could be accomplished. I wish there were more “cowards” who said hell no, we won’t go. Unfortunately, too many fall for the “groupthink.” They rally around their cause and kill in mass numbers, and many are killed. This happens over and over and over again.
Millions of lives snuffed out prematurely because of war…I remember all of them.