Memorial Day is one of many long holiday weekends where families get together for a picnic at the park, on the beach, or just in the backyard. With each new generation, the real purpose of the holiday seems to be getting lost in all the fun activities. It has slowly become yet another of those meaningless generic holidays.
Thinking back to my childhood days, I remember the “patriotic” holiday with a special fondness. A sea of red, white, and blue and a community focused on one purpose, to honor the men and women who died while serving in our armed forces. The very people who paid the ultimate price to keep us a free nation safe from invading forces bent on taking over the world.
Those were wonderful days and a period when we truly believed in our country. It was a simpler life and a great time to be a kid. We spent our summers hanging out with all our friends in the neighborhood, our gang. Looking back, I am amazed at how well we got along. Yeah, we had our differences, but we always seemed to resolve them before it was time to go home for supper and we did it all without adult supervision. We treated everyone the same way we wanted to be treated and that worked out just fine and dandy. At our age, the only prejudice we seemed to have was “girls”, we would sooner kiss a lizard than hang out with a girl.
The 1950’s were an awesome time, we would leave the house in the morning to go “play” and not return until the sun started to set and the street lights came on. It was a safe world, a fun world, a magical world. We built forts down in the woods, played baseball in the schoolyard, listened to rock ‘n roll, and watched Bandstand on small black and white televisions.
We were able to enjoy our childhood because of the dedication of our military and the morals our parents and our leaders possessed. We had politicians that actually believed in and cared about our great country. Generals not politicians ran wars and the end game was nothing short of total victory. That is just the way things were, no one thought about it, no one worried about it, and everyone accepted the norm. It was a truly amazing time to live and an awesome time to be a kid growing up.
Sadly that all changed and our simple, “Brady Bunch” lifestyle disappeared with our involvement in the Korean and Vietnam wars. From that point on, our wonderful childhood ceased to exist, never to be regained. We became a nation lost in a sea of drugs, war protests, and crime. We treated our returning military not as heroes, but as villains. We went from what’s best for our country to what’s best for me and never looked back.
Our whole world had been turned upside down and as much as I wish we could, I do not believe we can ever return to the days of caring about our neighbors and country. Our new “ethic” is ingrained in our DNA and eventually it will pop back out when we see a chance for fame or fortune. We have political parties that will do anything, even destroy each other just to be elected to office. They are so blinded by revenge they do not even realize what they are doing to our great nation.
You might be asking yourself who created this mess. Well, conservatives blame the liberals, liberals blame the conservatives, and independents blame everyone. Then you have government blaming the private sector, the private sector blaming big government and it goes on and on. Who is really at fault? There is only one place to lay the blame and it is a bitter pill to swallow. We are at fault and we allowed this to happen.
We the people who only care about ourselves, who reelect incompetent politicians based solely on the fact that they have seniority and bring “pork” back into our district.
We the people who cannot even take the time to read about the very politicians for whom we are voting. It is oh so much simpler just to vote a straight party ticket.
We the people who keep up with current events by watching comedy shows and ignore the more accurate legitimate news sources.
We the people who vote based on what is cool instead of an informed decision.
And we the ignorant people who cannot even take the time to go to the polls and vote, yet still seem to have the time to complain because “our candidates” were not elected.
Men and women have fought and died to give us the right to elect a responsible governing body. We dishonor them by not taking our voting rights seriously.
It is time we got back to our roots. It is time to stop the whining and complaining and do something to resolve our problems. It is time we stopped thinking about what’s good for me and started thinking about how we can help others and our great nation. And most of all, it’s time to stop making excuses and take the time to honor the men and women of our armed forces and especially those who gave their lives to preserve our freedom…sons and daughters, dads and moms, heroes every one.
Another great adventure comes to an end Thanks for taking time away from your busy schedule to read my ramblings.
I guess as we travel the road of life, we can never be really sure which way the road will turn…one thing’s for certain though, always take time to thank the ones who paved the way for you.
This work fully protected under The United States Copyright Laws © 17 USC§§ 101, 102(a), 302(a)
All photos, videos, and stories © SunGlo Photography
All Rights Reserved - The author retains all rights
Distribution, including but not limited to: posting on internet sites, newsgroups, or message boards, or in book form (either as a whole or part of a compilation), or on CD, DVD or any other electronic media, is expressly prohibited without the author's written consent.