Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Holiday weekend

Some of my overseas readers may not realize that the last Monday in May is an American holiday called Memorial Day. It is a day set aside to remember and honor our military men and women who were killed in the line of duty.

Many in the world seem to view us as an overly warlike, militaristic culture. And from some perspectives, that may be true.

I was raised and educated in the era not too long after World War II, and at that point in the 20th century our culture of a strong military was driven from our experiences in the two biggest conflicts of the past 50 years or so, plus our involvement in Korea.

Then came Vietnam. In about one decade popular sentiment shifted from honoring our war dead to disdaining most things military. But since that war, no single conflict has cost America as many slain as did the attack on Sept. 11, 2001. No, not even Iraq. Today’s attitude (in this country at least) towards our military has returned to one of respect and, generally, admiration.

As a former U.S. Navy carrier pilot, I knew men who died in the military service of their country. So Memorial Day has real meaning for me. But I do not usually participate in any special memorials or other events, and this year will be no different. For me and Carol, it will mean a long weekend and an opportunity to take our camper, get out of town, and play some golf.

We plan to drive to the Central Texas town of Belton between Austin and Waco, set up “camp,” and use that as a base from which to play golf at three different courses on three days.

The golf is not as important as just getting away for a few days. So if it rains, we’ll go anyway. You folks in New England don’t want to hear this, but if it rains we’ll probably celebrate since it has been so dry here.

Oh, and for those of you keeping track, our home telephones and air conditioner are both working fine. For now.

Based on RobotJam’s comment on yesterday’s post, I think Karyn may have been right. Now if we can just keep him from dreaming...


Zinnia said...

My dad's a Viet Nam Vet. He was over there for 16 months. Nineteen years old, only been married for two weeks and shipped him out.

Emmy Ellis said...

The concept of war for me is an alien thing. We're pretty sheilded here.


Candace said...

My dad was a WWII vet. That was a just war, and the country was behind it 100%.

Not so Vietnam. It's a shame that the focus of our anger over the Vietnam stupidity did not remain on those in the highest command, but somehow translated on down to the rank and file who had to fight the damn thing.

Those who are angry over the stupidity of the Iraq war seem to have gotten it right this time. Blame the idiots at the very top, not the soldiers! (There are lots of Vietnam vets in this anti-war, let me be clear: anti-IRAQ-war, movement.)

Y'all have a great weekend, John.

kenju said...

Hope you get the rain you need, John. Golf can wait, right?

Karyn Lyndon said...

Of course I'm right. It's plain as the big Mac on my desk (and I'm not talkin' McDonald's).

Also, pray for rain. If the drought continues they won't let us fill up the pool.

P.S. I remember when you went on your Memorial Day golfing trip last year. Time flies when you're blogging...