Lest we forget…

When does patriotism become merely another version of fandom?  Do we diminish the value of service by branding it with empty nationalism?

Today is Memorial Day in the United States.  We have set this day aside to remember and pay tribute to our war dead.  Many also memorialize family and friends who have passed.

As I’m wont to do, I begin to ponder things on days like this.

I feel a sense of solemnity on Memorial Day.  Sure, it’s the start of Summer and a nice three day weekend that lends itself to the beach, pool and cook outs, and there’s certainly nothing wrong with those things.

Somewhere in the number of 1.3 million American troops have died in war during our country’s history.  That’s a pretty staggering number.  That’s a lot of graves, not all of which are on U.S. soil.

Not really sure I have much of a point beyond that number.  1.3 million.  How many more before we’re done?

Shot, stabbed, decapitated, disemboweled, burned alive, drowned – all the the horrible ways you can die…

We wrap it up in ceremony and parades.  Do we do this to salve our consciences?  Wouldn’t no more war be a better memorial?

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