Memorial Day: Not About Hot Dogs

To all of you who do not know the history–the reason for Memorial Day, I’m taking you to school. Leave your Bud beer, shitty potato salad, and platter of grilled meats at the table.

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Memorial Day honors men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military. This holiday originated in the years following the Civil War, officially proclaimed on May 5, 1868 by General John Logan, a leader of an organization for Northern Civil War veterans, and was known as Decoration Day.  On the first Decoration Day, General James Garfield spoke at Arlington National Cemetery, where 5,000 people decorated the graves of 20,000 Union and Confederate soldiers.

New York was the first state to recognize the holiday in 1873. By 1890 it was recognized by all of the northern states; the south honored their dead on separate days until after WWI, when Memorial Day was changed to honor not only those who died during the Civil War, but servicemen/women who died serving in any war. In 1971, Memorial Day became an official federal holiday.

Moina Michael, founder of the National Poppy movement was honored by the U.S. Post Office in 1948 by issuing a red postage stamp bearing her likeness. In 1915, she wrote this poem:

“We cherish too, the Poppy red
That grows on fields where valor led,
It seems to signal to the skies
That blood of heroes never dies.”

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Moina Michael was the first to wear to the red poppy in honor of those who died during war, and she sold poppies to friends and co-workers, with the money going to servicemen in need. In 1922, the VFW became the first veterans’ organization to nationally sell artificial poppies made by veterans.

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I realize many Americans are anti-war. I am anti-war, but I am not un-patriotic. I am not anti-military. I understand that there are situations in which we must fight, and I have the utmost respect for our men and women who serve the United States. My husband is an Army vet–he served during Desert Storm; no matter how many times I hear recollections of his Army years, my skin goose bumps, and my heart swells. One of my favorite uncles was a Navy man, and like my amazing Jim, Uncle Mike came home alive. My maternal grandfather was an Army man, and he is still living. Veterans Day is their holiday. Memorial Day is a day of observance of those who died during war–a day to honor those who died fighting for our liberties, or the liberties of others.

To those who celebrate a long weekend with beer and BBQ, and have no idea, or do not care about the people who fought and died to give you a Monday off at the end of May–screw you.

I am so sick of people (mainly Holy rolling Christians who protest gay soldier funerals) who talk diah-fucking-rreaha  against our military while boating and/or swimming in a lake, enjoying a long weekend. These are the people raising children who are petulant, entitled to a standard of living they didn’t  earn. Hello! All of our fallen have awarded you the right to be so hateful and ignorant–they’re the reason you get a Monday off to begin the summer season.

In short, this is Memorial Day:

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Not this:

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