For as many lies as there were surrounding the Vietnam War, it was the last honest war in this country. We saw the bodies come home, and ate body counts with our dinner every night. I saw an article today that said “Is Memorial Day losing its meaning?” Well, of course it is. When you make an edict that the media may not show the bodies of returning soldiers, as George W. Bush did, of course it’s going to lose its meaning. It’s like “look over here at these mattress sales and cookouts and parades that we don’t understand”, but you can’t blame the people for that. They’ve been deliberately led away from the consequences of war, so if they don’t understand the significance of Memorial Day you can’t turn around and say “Oh people are terrible. They don’t remember Memorial Day and what it’s supposed to mean. They just want to have a day off, a long weekend, and open the cottage and get the boat in the water.” Well that’s true, but it’s not their fault that they don’t understand.
You have the people who think that it’s Veterans Day, and they thank veterans for their service when they’re actually thanking them for dying. Which is really twisted, but people get it confused. Civics is not taught in school. Nothing is left to show people what this holiday is really about. If you take away all the social involvement in the wars and you deliberately distract people from their results, you can’t then turn around and say people are awful because they don’t understand the holiday. For those of us who do understand the meaning of this day, we pause and remember everyone who has given their life in service to this country.