Monday, May 26, 2008

A DAY TO REMEMBER

by Gina Sestak

It's hard to post on Memorial Day without getting political, but you already know where I stand on the war from my past posts. Still, I can't bring myself to simply tout the pleasures of picnics. This is as serious holiday.

Memorial Day began unofficially after the Civil War as Decoration Day, a time to put flowers on the graves of fallen soldiers.

There is nothing wrong with honoring the dead but, to me, it makes more sense to focus on the living. Not all casualties of war die in combat. As many as 18 veterans commit suicide every day.

So, if you want to be patriotic, forego buying that "USA #1" t-shirt made in China and do something useful. Hug a veteran today.

3 comments:

Judy Schneider said...

Gina, my father is a World War II veteran who served almost three years in the South Pacific. I will give him a huge hug today -- there aren't many WW II vets still among us. Thanks!

Gina said...

Judy -
My late father was in the Second World War, too, but he served primarily as a medic based in Australia. Neither of my brothers served in the military, but my youngest brother's wife was in the army. It was kind of strange hearing my sexist father swap military stories with his daughter-in-law. And I did hug her yesterday.

Annette said...

I wish I could still hug the veterans in my life, but they have since passed on.

However, I've noticed you can make a young soldier in uniform break into a huge smile if you even go so far as to thank him/her for all they do for us.

So if you're not the huggy type, THANK a veteran today.