I, like many other “average citizens” have never served in the military and, owing to a now fully voluntary armed forces, probably never will.
This doesn’t mean I don’t recognize the sacrifices made to afford us the luxuries of our current situation. I certainly don’t mean ‘luxuries’ to infer fancy cars, mansions, dinners at fine restaurants, etc. No, I refer to ‘luxury’ in this case as the privilege of freedom and the right to live in peace.
I believe in showing my gratitude to the brave men and women who have fought, and in some cases died, for our country, and to offer my thanks whenever possible to those who have served. Sadly, these opportunities have recently been stolen away.
On Memorial Day, a time to stop the hustle and bustle of daily life and reflect on these very sacrifices, I had planned a weekend of tribute.
We first headed to a beach-side ceremony, which suggested a quiet sunrise service by the waves, as American flags were to be placed across the shoreline- each flag representing one valiant soul who had fallen on the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan. It was to be a heartfelt and moving ceremony. It was an event which never took place.
We waited two hours for this presentation to begin, with no results. No explanation was given for “dropping the ball” in this manner.
Denied of this opportunity, we then set out eyes on a ceremony, to be held the next day, at a park monument to the fallen soldiers in Korea. Arriving promptly at 11am as per the advertised flyer, we were the only ones there. Again, no explanation was given for this cancelled ceremony.
Finally, we headed downtown on Memorial Day itself, gearing ourselves up for a patriotic service by the water, which was never to be.
Perhaps even more sickening, however, was the fact that no flag, not one flag, was lowered to half-staff in remembrance of the day. Not even the flag outside the post office showed even a hint of respect!
Fast-forward to the Fourth of July, in a different city altogether, in a different part of the state, where we had gathered, early morning, for a parade and ceremony to mark America’s Independence Day. And, yet again, we were met with a hastily presented event, with no flags, save for the one dollar sticks you get from Walmart, waved by punk teens too busy texting to offer even one moment of reflection.
Average Americans everywhere are desperately searching for ways in which they can show their gratitude for the sacrifices made in the name of freedom. They are searching for ways to celebrate the life of liberty we enjoy in this great nation.
And yet, time and again, they are shamefully denied these opportunities by ill-advised ‘organizers’ who must think it’s funny to mail-in event after event.
I, for one, am not laughing. I know several of my fellow citizens who remain stone-faced in the wake of these shenanigans.
And I’m sure the thousands who have died, who have returned home with injuries, and who are sacrificing time away from their families, their educations, their lives to uphold the integrity and honor of these United States do not see the mirth in this kind of mockery towards liberation.
These organizers should be ashamed of themselves for what they have done and are continuing to do. Their wanton disregard for the memory of sacrifice in the name of this nation is appalling.
by Peter P. Gaseoustania; Gaseoustania Tonight