Monday, May 26, 2014

Memorial Day

Yesterday I was talking with a couple of friends at church about Memorial Day. Not surprisingly the conversation was not about picnics but about the memorials our nation has built to honor those who died in our wars. What I found a bit surprising was the interest that both of these men had in the way our country has honored the women who served in our armed forces. In one case, that of the women who flew airplanes during World War II from the factory to the air bases, the honoring took a while in coming.
 
Honoring those who served and died has not always been an easy matter. In the years after the Civil War some communities that sent men to serve on both sides were involved in fights over which war dead they should honor. After Viet Nam many of those who had supported the war and of those who opposed it failed to welcome back those who had served with the gratitude and honor they deserved. 
 
There are lessons to be learned from our nation's less than perfect history. Perhaps the most important one on this Memorial Day is that those who serve, even in wars that we oppose or wars that end in defeat, are owed our thanks.

1 comment:

El Gringo Viejo said...

How peculiar to take note of these wandering round pegs and square holes. Your even-handedness is noted and appreciated.

I had a grandfather who lost two brothers to the Confederate Armies. I have another grandfather who was involved in a one of those Tennessee families that had 9 and 10 surviving babies. My Southern grandparents had, between them 16 combatants and 6 elected civil authorities in the service of the Confederacy. The soldiers counted 11 with serious wounds, and of those 3 died outright and 2 more died a fairly quick "slow death".
My heart and soul came from the inner feelings as they just "come out". And they are Southern. Anti-slavery, but southern.

Your notion is more than valid, and more than a notion, or even a "search for balance". So long as there were no established war crime...both side of my line are to be honoured.
I am honourably discharged USArmy, 1969. I was a conscript, and served as required. It is still my impression that the common American impression, oddly enough, after all the smoke had and has cleared, was the correct one. The Viet Cong and the ANV personnel did a thousand bad things for every one we pushed upon the Vietnamese on purpose or by accident. But I have stopped being angry at those who spit upon me in the airports. stateside. The embraces of the South Vietnamese whom I encountered here made up for much of the other. Also, now, the Viet Nam government trying to involve us into the defence of their territorial waters against the Red Chinese puts a peculiar twist on this long life as it rounds third base.

You are a good person and site-keeper. Thanks for the time and attention.
El Gringo Viejo