Tomorrow is Memorial Day. It's the day when we remember all the brave troops who gave their lives for the things that we cherish the most about America. Our freedom. Our liberties. Our way of life. Thanks to all the sacrifices of the past, we are the nation that we are today.
But what's the true meaning of Memorial Day today? Here's what Orange Juice's Art Pedroza found out about Memorial Day:
"It was formerly known as Decoration Day. This holiday commemorates U.S. men and women who have died in military service to their country. It began first to honor Union soldiers who died during the American Civil War."
"After World War I, it expanded to include those who died in any war or military action. One of the longest standing traditions is the running of the Indianapolis 500, which has been held in conjunction with Memorial Day since 1911." [...]
Memorial Day is especially poignant this year given the sheer number of U.S. soldiers who are actively engaged in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as other U.S. bases throughout Europe and Asia.
So what does Memorial Day mean for us today? It means that we honor the brave soldiers who are giving their all in Afghanistan and Iraq for all the American values that we cherish. George W. Bush may not have sent out troops to war for the right reasons, but I know that our troops are serving our nation for the right reasons. They believe in this country. They hold our American values near and dear. They are what's right about this nation.
So what should we do tomorrow? Let's remember all these brave soldiers. Let's honor these courageous souls. If you're in Orange County, check out Orange Juice's list of Memorial Day services in the community tomorrow. If you're somewhere else in the state, find out what's happening in your town. And if you have other plans in mind for the day, just take some time out of your busy day to remember all of those who have lost their lives while in service to our country.
Sometimes, it's so easy to forget the human costs of war. It's so easy to forget during Memorial Day when we fire up the bratwursts on the grill and lather the sunscreen on the kids before they jump in the pool. It's so easy to forget when we watch C-SPAN, and we watch the politicians debate which bill will get our troops out of Iraq's chaotic civil war faster. It's so easy to forget when we watch Bush on the teevee, blathering on about how we're fighting the terrorists there so that they don't find us here, or about how we're building some democracy in the Middle East that the people there don't even want, or about some new half-truth or outright lie about why we're in Iraq. We must remember that tomorrow isn't about them. Tomorrow's about the troops who lost their lives in service to their nation.
Tomorrow's about the troops. Let's remember them tomorrow. And after tomorrow, let's truly honor the troops that are still with us today by working to end Bush's failed war. But in the mean time, let's just stop. Let's stop and remember.