Memorial Day

Social networking is an interesting beast.  It’s exactly like on-line dating where you generally show the best of yourself.  In fact, you can invent the best you that you can be.  The problem with this “best you” that doesn’t exist in nature is that other people get to “see” it.  Some have to live with what they know to be extreme hypocrisy.  Today is one of those “best day” super hypocritical social networking days.

You see, today is Memorial Day.  It’s the day that we honor our fallen soldiers.  It’s also a day when we honor our loved ones who have already departed this life.  In general, I’m not a huge fan of rabid patriotism, which seems to walk hand-in-hand with service in the military.  This is a hard holiday for me because I understand showing reverence to those who have died while in service to our country.  However, the idea that they are dying to “keep me free” is a little… misleading.

I do not now, nor will I ever, question the earnestness of those who serve in the military.  Most are truly good people who believe, heart and soul, that their service protects our freedoms here at home.  It is a matter of pride that they serve their country.  It is, unquestionably, a labor of love.  However, serving in foreign wars doesn’t always keep us free.  Sometimes it acts as a lightning bolt for attracting more attention to us and our foreign policies.  Those members of our military serving in those locations become THE lightning bolt.  I have issue with putting human lives in harm’s way in order to manipulate domestic and foreign policy.

That said, this is not about our people serving in the military.  It’s about those of us who actively chose NOT to serve in the military.  I think there is something to be said about making everyone serve time in our armed forces.  I feel it’s a platitude to thank soldiers and other enlisted forces for keeping us free knowing we would NEVER make the same sacrifice.  I find it even more ironic when people in one family aren’t aware of those who have served their country in this capacity.  That makes your social networking shout out all the more bittersweet.  Who are you thanking, really, if none of your “friends” serves in this way?

I have known people who have served, some family, some not.  At one time Keb wanted to serve.  It freaked me out until Taed pointed out that this is INDEED an honorable thing to do.  We forget that sacrifice and honor often go hand in hand.  Should Keb chose to serve, I will support him 100% because it is an honor to be allowed to serve one’s country.  I’ve never been willing to make the sacrifice, but I will honor his choice should he make it when he’s old enough.

Today, rather than just telling the “world” how thankful you are, how about sending forth your children or enlisting yourself.  Today, why not let it be us rather than them?

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