I have a two part plan. Firstly, I would like to call on our culture… - Blather, Rinse, Repeat
I have a two part plan.
Firstly, I would like to call on our culture to treat those that serve their nations with respect. Too often, wars become unpopular and the warriors are inconvenient reminders. I would like to live in a world where "homeless vet" isn't a useful phrase.
Once we reach a point where veterans are honored on a daily basis, we can begin working on phase 2 of my plan, which is to make Memorial Day a separate holiday from Veterans Day. Right now, they are nearly synonymous - and if you're thinking of people in the armed services, that's not bad.
And, nuts, I forgot to record "It's Armed Forces Day, Charlie Brown".
I couldn't agree more. I know that, as a social studies teacher, I know what's not in the curriculum - neither Veteran's Day nor Memorial Day are mentioned in "curriculum framework."
I have vivid memories of going to the annual Memorial Day parade that went through the small town where I lived. I went with my great-grandfather, who served, if I remember correctly, in World War I. I learned several things at those parades.
First...buttered rolls were the food of the gods.
Second...the men carrying that flag had fought in faraway lands to protect our country and the very least you could do was stand on your own two feet when that flag went by. None of it was spoken, it was understood in the way my grandfather held himself, the way he spoke of the men, the flag, Memorial Day. Though he died when I was 6, most of what I learned about patriotism I learned from him.
On Wednesday, I'm taking my kids to DC. We start at the Lincoln Memorial and work our way up to the Washington Monument. We have lunch on the mall, then do the museums in the afternoon.
Some of the best moments of my teaching career have taken place at the Vietnam and World War II memorials, watching students understand for the first time, what they stand for.
Now I'm just rambling, so I'll stop.
Nah, it's good stuff.
I don't have a lot of familial connection to being deployed. I guess my uncle was stationed in France well before I came around. Mom tells a few stories about that, but not much. And that was a time of peace. My dad and his dad both worked for all(?) of their respective careers working for the Navy, though neither one of them wore a uniform. Well, Dad was a scoutmaster, but that's not part of this ramble.
Even though I didn't have an empty seat at the table, I grew up in a Navy town, and Dad put food on our plates with a Navy paycheck. Many of my high school classmates ended up working for the military in one way or another.
I was in the high school ROTC, for goodness sakes. Granted, it was a dodge to avoid having to take a real P.E. class, but I had a certain amount of exposure to Military History, Chain of Command, and Mahan's Theory of Sea Power
I guess a little bit rubbed off on me, for all my long-hair rebel ways.
I clearly remember seeing the Viet Nam War memorial in December of 1988. I think I also saw it in July of 1985, but that memory is less clear. Years later, I saw the WWII memorial and certainly any number of Civil War and even Revolutionary War markers, but those weren't as profoundly moving as that night in 1988 had been for me.
Random somewhat maudlin observation: Grampa spent an important part of his career welding warships together, and eventually succumbed to the effects of the asbestos that was used at that time. Dying at home of lung cancer after a career working in a shipyard isn't the same thing as taking enemy fire in a middle-east counterinsurgency operation, I know.
In memory of those who have served and have died.