Monday, May 30, 2022

Memorial Day 2022

I've always felt conflicted about Memorial Day- it's an odd holiday, one meant for somber reflection on those who lost their lives, ideally, in defense of this nation, but which in reality is about cookouts and the initial beach trip of the season.  I don't begrudge people engaging in fun stuff on a day meant for solemnity- it's not as if Americans have a lot of national holidays to begin with.  Still, it's a weird contrast of stated purpose and actual practice.  Maybe the holiday should be moved to a more somber month... 

This year, though, Memorial Day is extra weird.  Currently, the US is not involved in a large, publicized shooting war for the first time in twenty years (though there's no doubt we're involved in sub rosa conflicts around the globe).  Sure, we are providing 'lethal aid' to the beleaguered Ukrainians, but American service personnel aren't be shot at in earnest.  American civilians are, though... Gone are the collections of photographs of military members killed in action, replaced by collections of photos of slain grocery shoppers and schoolchildren.

The real war is at home, the constant ache of mass shootings, the murders and maimings of ordinary Americans trying to perform ordinary, everyday tasks.  I've come to the conclusion that the victims should be memorialized along with those killed in war overseas... and you can be damn sure that I someday hope for a domestic Armistice Day.

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