A Monday Memorium

Today is Memorial Day.

For most of us, it's a three day weekend topped with backyard barbecues followed by a shortened work week. Or, you know, if you're in retail, it's a busy morning followed by a quiet afternoon and a nice little bump in your hourly wage.

It's good to celebrate things, no matter how you feel about the subject matter, any excuse to gather the ones you love at the dinner table will never be anything less than the best of times.

I have three grandpas who donned uniforms in their childhood, though I am shamefully unequipped to tell any of their tales.

I think every boy considers going off to war, I know my moment was very breif, but my baby brother was one genetic disorder away from storming the beaches. (They don't send you out with a rifle if you're color-blind anymore, pity)

And here in the land of the free, the home of the brave, we actually have two holidays to commemorate the boys and girls who've become soliders; Veteran's Day and Memorial Day.

Veteran's Day is a day to honor those who serve.

Mermorial Day is the day to remember those who died.

I was a highschool freshman the day we launched Desert Storm. I remember looking around my first period english class that day wondering if anyone in the room had a brother/sister/father/mother who was actively involved.

I remember how flag wavingly gung-ho we all felt about having the opportunity to show the world how quickly we could crush Iraq like a late afternoon mosquito.

I remembered my dad saying something about how that's exactly how everyone felt at the beginning of the Vietnam War, but I don't remember ever being taught that in school. Vietnam=Bad. Desert Storm=Good.

By the time Operation Iraqi Freedom came around, I was three months from being married and just about to take my new bride to LA and become a rockstar. Dreams of being Tom Cruise in Top Gun had faded away years before. 

And I was clearly on the hippy side of that particular march.

In 1991 General Colin Powel was a totally kick-ass hero, in fact, I would have ABSOLUTELY voted for him for President in 2000. Al Gore may be cool now, but I'll always think of him as the husband of the twat who lost to Dee Snyder in the fight for music censorship.

Like really, who gets their granny panties in a huff over a Cindy Lauper song?

Yet despite the radness of the Powel-meister, I think we can all agree his speech to the UN twelve years later about weapons of mass destruction left everyone with the taste of bullshit in their mouths. You can even see how slimy he felt delivering it, like he couldn't wait to get home and take a shower.

YouTube it before you bother disagreeing with me. The dude is covered in flop sweat. He clearly didn't have the sociopathic hutzpah that his job required right then. (Lookin at you McNamara, Lookin at you Kissinger. Lookin at you Rumsfeld.)

Weird times man, weird times.

And please, for the love of god, don't think I'm a peace love and understanding liberal. There are terrible people in this world doing terrible things, I actually lean way way way to the RIGHT and think a bit of American Imperialism might be a good thing for some quarters of the world. Super tough to be a violent extremist when Starbucks rolls out the pumpkin spice lattes in late October.

Anyway, the point I was making is that we should take a chunk of this day to do two VERY important things:

First, remember the price of freedom.

Second, remember the cost of war.

Do those two things, and maybe we CAN have a little peace love and understanding.

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