I did the usual for Memorial Day weekend yesterday. I visited the local veteran's cemetery as I often do on days such as Memorial Day weekend even though Memorial Day is officially today. I visited graves of family long since gone over the years. Having performed that duty, I took my four-year old beagle, Ralph, walking at a nearby park. I'm not sure who enjoys that walk most, me or Ralph. There were little American flags throughout the park in celebration of this sacred American holiday. At about 1PM, everyone in the park went to the speakers platform. Here speeches are made talking about the sacrifices of our troops, past, present and future, and how brave they are. Politicians always make their pitches to vote for them at this time also. I suspect they will be doing the same over the next few holidays that are upcoming on the calendar. Few people pay any attention to them. I suspect that has a lot to do with the way people think of politicians these days.
I noticed yesterday that the one elderly gentleman, "Jim," of whom I spoke of in a post about three years ago was missing. Jim is at every memorial for Veteran's Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, and D-Day Memorial services in the park. But, he was missing yesterday. That is disconcerting. He was in his ninties. So, maybe Jim has gone on to join those young men who died so many years ago on Normandy Beach that he spoke of so eloquently. But, I will go looking for him today. Maybe he forgot that the official ceremony for Memorial Day is always on Sunday.
Last night, I finished watching the final episode of "Band of Brothers" for at least the 20th time. That is something of a tradition for me. I worry about the future of our nation. Our nation is undergoing a transformation from one that was brave, strong and proud, to one that is weak, spineless and timid. Without mentioning any names, I think we can blame our political leaders for that apparent change. I wonder if we will have the intestinal fortitude to do the hard things in life. Will we still be the same nation that JFK described in his moon speech when he said "...we choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard..." Will we be that type of nation over the next 5 to 15 years? I don't know. I do know that the men who died defending this nation should not have died in vain. We honor those men and women on Memorial Day because they chose to do "the other thing" so that this nation shall not perish from the earth. It is those Americans who we appreciate on Memorial Day.