Monday, May 25, 2009
Memorial Day 2009
The National Moment of Remembrance is at 3:00 PM local time today. Sixty seconds of silence for over 1 million dead? It doesn't seem like enough, does it? That's why I always give a donation to a veteran's group for Memorial Day in memory of those fallen.
You can spare 1 minute 19 seconds for Taps at 3:00 PM.
According to a Gallup poll in 1999, about 40% of Americans said Memorial Day was about honoring veterans, and another 28% were able to correctly say that the day honored war dead. 17% of respondents could hazard no guess at all. Seventy-three percent of Berkeley residents found the question so distressing that they threatened to sue for harassment. One of these statistics is made up, but you'll have to use the link to figure out which one.
Thirty-six percent of DU respondents are willing to subscribe to the notion that nationalism is a mental illness, so it's a good guess that they don't approve of Memorial Day either.
So educate a child today about the meaning of the day. It's not about we the living - it's about the dead. It's to say they mattered, which they did. Given that Memorial Day, once Decoration Day, started as a move to honor the fallen of both sides in the Civil War, it's striking that the day is somewhat politicized now.
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