When it originated in the South following the Civil War, it was called Decoration Day. Back then, flowers were placed on the graves of both Union and Confederate soldiers. Now it’s called Memorial Day. In modern times, you're more likely to see hot dogs on a grill than flowers on a grave.
On a morning TV show, a chef was interviewed who said Oscar Meyer’s hot dogs taste the best. Apparently mustard and onions are the most popular toppings. The chef was followed by a woman offering tips for your Memorial Day party. This is what Memorial Day has become: a scaled down Fourth of July, a time for parties and picnics.
The only genuine acknowledgment of the day’s purpose is on PBS where they air the National Memorial Day Concert, now hosted by actors Gary Sinise and Joe Mantegna who stepped in after Ossie Davis passed away. Sinise and Mantegna lack Davis’ “gravitas,” but they share his sincerity. The viewer gets the impression that they are present because they respect the veterans who sacrificed their youth and, in many cases, their lives, when the country called on them to preserve our freedom.
Of course, some of us know better. Many of those men and women were mere cannon fodder for reasons that had less to do with freedom than the promotion of the New World Order whose full horrors will soon be upon us. No matter. They put their lives on the line firmly believing they were fighting for a worthy cause. That’s enough to make them deserving of every honor they receive. It’s what’s in your heart that counts, not what’s in the blackened hearts of those who exploit the noble motives of others for ignoble purposes.
© 2013 Brian W. Fairbanks
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