Friday, May 25, 2012

Memorial Day

In my book, 5 Words and Then Some (available from Amazon and all fine book stores) I have a section where I talk about holidays and their meaning. I think sometimes we tend not to  think too much about the holiday we are celebrating and why its important. And that is understandable. Everyone is busy working, commuting, raising kids, etc and we look forward to a long, relaxing weekend with family and friends. And we should.

But I hope sometime in the next three days, we can pause for a moment and think of the hundreds of thousands of men and women who went over that hill and never came back. They made the ultimate sacrifice so we could remain free and be able to celebrate this holiday with our friends and families. If we get a chance, lets pause for a moment, and think of all those who went before us while fighting for our way of life. And maybe we can toast them before we sit down to eat,  And if we can't do that, silently give them thanks as we flip the burgers and hot dogs. Many of them never had a chance to get married, see their children and grandchildren born, have a cookout and a few beers.

I was in college during the Vietnam War and then got deferred so I never was in the service. I think about that a lot now. That really wasn't fair.Why should someone in college get deferred but the guy who went to work right after high school gets drafted? I didn't go but probably some poor white guy from Harlan County in Kentucky went in my place. Or maybe it was a minority guy from one of the inner cities. And maybe they didn't come back. Maybe I should have just enlisted.

I think alot about one of my high school classmates, Richard Rodgers.  He was a year behind me. He served one tour of duty in Vietnam, made it through, but volunteered for a second tour so his younger brother didn't have to go. He was killed shortly after. For years I carried his service information from the Viet Nam Memorial in my notebook at work.

So that's who I will be thinking of this weekend . I will be  hoisting a tall glass of Irish Cream in their memory. I hope you do too. Thanking you for your time, this time, until next time, FRAN