Remember when Memorial Day was celebrated on the 30thday of May?
The first Memorial Day was May 30, 1868, proclaimed by General John Logan, to commemorate fallen Civil War soldiers.
All Americans who have died serving this country are now honored annually on Memorial Day. It’s a federal holiday— debated, tinkered with, and voted upon so it is no longer observed on May 30; rather, on the last Monday of May.
As with the super-sizing of everything these days, it is now known as Memorial Day Weekend. Look for an auto maker’s gigantic Tent Sale, or Memorial Day Savings Sales, or the illegal fireworks distributor’s tent—all urging us to celebrate. Sales end at 11:50 p.m. Monday, May 28, 2012. Void where prohibited by law; prices do not include taxes, titles, warranties, or any other after-tax-dollars that can be squeezed out of the buyers.
Other than the requisite photo op or video on the nightly news of the placing of a wreath on a grave or memorial by one of the people who keep the wars going, there are few formal observations of the meaning of this day.
I’m down with celebrating Memorial Day with a cookout for family and friends, the O’s game on in the background, and cold beer. At the very least, it is a gathering of family and friends, a rare thing for the busy men, women and children of America today. And they are all tired. Have you noticed that? Everyone is tired all the time. But I digress…
Lots of flags are flying in this neighborhood. Banners drape from porches, and tiny replicas decorate gardens and driveways. I put mine on the mail box. The mailer carrier won’t see it. She has the day off.
These flags will all be put out again Independence Day and Labor Day, on the dates designated to be observed by the government.
How ironic that the date of the day established to honor those who died in service to this country is determined by those elected by the many who serve the few, after first serving themselves. Yet, the United States remains the greatest country in the world.
Let us all take a moment to remember the men and women who died fighting for our freedom—as well as those fighting on this day.
Now that Obama and his G8 pals have come up with a way to get out of the war in Afghanistan by the end of 2014, the troops only have to keep fighting and dying for two years, seven months and six more days. I pray there will be fewer dead from wars on foreign soil to commemorate on the last Monday of May, 2013.
The Honorable Andrew P. Napolitano, often a guest on Ron’s show, has witten an excellent piece: What if We Have Only Memories of Freedom? You can bet super producer Ryan would have had the Judge “booked” for Monday’s show.
Start your search engine. It’s American. You can find it, even on a holiday weekend. And it’s free.
June Smith is the widow WBAL talk show host and Sun columnist, Ron Smith, who was posthumously awarded an Emmy® for his lifetime achievement in television and radio at WBAL in Baltimore, MD. Smith was a media titan in the central Maryland area and beyond for almost forty years. Her tribute website honoring his legacy is www.FriendsofRonSmith.com.She is working diligently to raise one million dollars for the Ron Smith Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund at Johns Hopkins. Her email is firstname.lastname@example.org.