Monday, May 28, 2018

Don't Thank A Veteran This Memorial Day

I saw a Nextdoor post from a veteran who said what I've always said (but was a little apprehensive to say too loudly). Memorial Day is our day to remember those who have fallen for their country while serving.
PLEASE REMEMBER!!! As I see the Memorial Day weekend begin, I am seeing signs over town. "Honor a Veteran this weekend. Honor our Vets." etc. I feel the need to let everyone know, as a Veteran, we have our day. It is called Veterans Day November 11th. Memorial Day is not for the living, it is for the dead. PLEASE DO NOT COMBINE THE TWO! I feel it is disrespectful to our fallen when you add the living to this holiday. So this Memorial Day, don't thank me for my service, visit a cemetery and thank our fallen brothers and sisters who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country.
No one wants to be politically incorrect on this one and tell people to leave vets or current military out of it, but doing so really does take away from the intent of the holiday. Then we might as well combine Veteran's Day, Armed Forces Day, and Memorial Day into one big day that mostly focuses on people we know who serve or have served. Sometimes it seems that Independence Day or Patriot Day also do this. A well-informed veteran is the best person to ask, but there are still some questions, I suppose.

I assume my dad is a veteran because he was in the military, but my grandpa was in the VFW because he was in WWII. My great-great-great grandpa was a veteran of a domestic war, so no VFW post drinking for Civil War vets, right? And what if my Great Grandpa, a wagoneer during WWI, would have died in a wagon accident in England? Would others (I wouldn't exist) remember him on Memorial Day? But I guess I wonder if there's a distinction between vets like my dad and those who actually fought (and survived). Not that I don't appreciate my dad, but you know what I mean: if you did two tours in Afghanistan, that's different from serving as a clerk in Germany, right?