On & about Memorial Day

“I have one sentiment for the soldier, living and dead. Cheers for the living, and tears for the dead.”

Robert Green Ingersoll, from a Decoration Day address delivered on May 30th, 1888

As most of us revel in a three-day weekend, we’re told (and often scolded) to recall why we mark Memorial Day — that nearly two million Americans gave their lives in military service. Lest we have too much fun at our picnics, we must remember that this “holiday” is supposed to be about The War Dead.

So, we’re chided, don’t thank a veteran for his service today — that’s what Veterans Day is for, dumbass. And whatever you do, never utter the words, “Happy Memorial Day.”

I’m all about honoring sacrifice in the cause of Liberty. Every day I silently and reverently acknowledge those who gave their lives for our freedom. Still, often I wonder how The War Dead would want us to conduct ourselves on Memorial Day.

We can’t ask them, of course — but we can do the next best thing.

Advances in battlefield medicine are saving lives today that would’ve been lost as recently as 20 years ago. As a result, we’re surrounded by scarred and maimed combat veterans who quite literally “almost died.” They damned well know it, too, and they offer a perspective that no one else has.

I’ve met many of them. And to a man, they say the same thing:

Yes, by all means remember the fallen. Comfort the families they left behind. But don’t make this a sad day or a somber weekend — celebrate your ass off. Have your picnics, your barbecues, your parties. Drive it like you stole it. Make waves in no-wake zones. Scream and holler and get blind-drunk. That’s what my brothers died for. That’s what I almost died for — so you can celebrate in freedom.

Let’s shed our shallow predisposition for guilt and perfunctory sorrow, shall we? Honor those we’ve lost — now and every damned day — and thank every veteran you meet. And then, dammit, be an American worth dying for.

Take care of yourselves, Patriots. Stay calm. Stay sharp. Stay free.

#WiseUp #LibertyOrDeath

#LetsGoBrandon #FJB