There are reminders popping up all over the place to remember the real reason why we celebrate Memorial Day.
And you know what? I need those reminders.
If I see a nativity, I think Christmas.
If I see a jack-o-lantern, I think Halloween.
But when I see an American flag? I think 4th of July.
Can’t help it.
So if Memorial Day is about remembering those who served and died for our country, instead of the stores putting tiny flags in the ground to draw customers in for the sales, why don’t they put tiny tombstones in the ground instead? ‘Cause, let’s be honest, the visual of Arlington National Cemetery definitely depicts the reason for this holiday in a more direct fashion.
And what’s up with all the retail sales? If I’m so busy remembering the fallen soldiers, then why am I so concerned about a new refrigerator? And if remembering the soldiers is such a big deal, then why don’t the news programs spend more time telling us the daily statistics, whereabouts, successes and losses of our military instead of reporting on the latest summer fashion trends or who won American Idol? As much as I wish that our attitude was more genuine regarding Memorial Day, as a nation, unfortunately it all feels more contrived when you consider how eagerly programs report on discouraging military stories versus their more optimistic updates all of the other 364 days in the year.
Excellent observation, Square Piece. Excellent observation.
Our country’s methods of visual and practical celebration are so confusing.
I think I’d do a much better job remembering the true reason for Memorial Day if it had its own unique symbol, much like Easter and Thanksgiving do. (Except I don’t believe we’ll ever have a true, grim visual reminder take the place of the typical American flag because we’re too afraid to offend people with the truth. Heaven forbid our grieving keep us from purchasing more refrigerators!) On the same note, Labor Day could also use a facelift. Maybe if we did something about these symbolic visuals, I could actually remember which one – Labor Day or Memorial Day – comes first each year.
American flags everywhere… meaning different things at different times…
Are we celebrating or observing? Is this about fallen soldiers, the nation’s birthday or the economic contribution of workers?
It’s so confusing.
It sure wasn’t hard to replace Christ’s resurrection with the Easter Bunny, so we can make this happen, right?
(Sorry if these thoughts come across as offensive. Certainly not my intention.)