It’s always tough for me to write anything about Memorial Day. While most people think of it as a day to cook out or head to the beach, for many it’s a day of sorrow, solemn remembrance and mourning. This is not a day to thank your veterans, although gratitude is always appreciate it. This is not a day to celebrate. This is a day to pay respect to those who have given their lives in the service of this country.
I have a lot of friends who equate this day with somehow worshiping death, or militarism, or nationalism, or any other kind of “ism” that implies support for government tyranny or military action. I see people on my Facebook page posting idiotic memes about government conspiracy and the folly of our foreign policy.
To the conspiracy nuts, I say, “I will root you out and delete your stupid ass.” I’m sick and tired of paranoid morons with half a brain using this day to advance their “government is evil” theories. That is not what this day is about, and if you cannot understand that, you don’t belong on my friends list.
To those who merely disagree with our government’s foreign policy, I say, “Fine. Disagree all you want. But please try to separate your foreign policy criticism from your respect for people who took an oath to serve and protect this nation and its laws.”
I have lost friends. I have lost people whom I respected and with whom I served. I pay homage to them every day, but especially on this day – a day we set aside to remember the people who made the ultimate sacrifice for their nation – for a nation in which they believed, and for a nation they loved.
I’m not telling you to shut up. I’m not asking you to keep your foreign policy discourse and disagreement to yourselves. After all, it is a free country. I’m merely asking you respectfully to stop politicizing the loss of those who have paid the ultimate price. Remember them. Respect them. Thank them. But please don’t use them to advocate your political views.
These people had lives, families, friends, loved ones, who will miss them, and who acutely feel their loss every day. Please don’t use their dead heroes as a foil for your political views. It’s not right, it’s not ethical and it’s indecent.
That’s all I ask. I hope it’s not too much.