Today I learned that Memorial Day was so strongly associated with honoring those who gave their lives to oppose Treason in Defense of Slavery, that the former Confederate states refused to observe it until after WW1. Once its purpose was explicitly generalized to include all US war dead, they deigned to join in.
Now, of course we know it as the official start of barbecue season. The wearing of white is now acceptable until Labor Day, in case your social circles actually include morons who get judgmental about such things. And what won’t we have a sale about? Since MLK-Jr’s birthday is no longer off-limits, and someone has even made a stab at this:
which is only a tiny bit worse (and a good deal more honest) than this
Why the hell not? After all, what’s more American than watching baseball players run around and play their games in olive drab instead of their own uniform colors for one weekend?
But let’s remember the real meaning of the day – to keep the 99% so financially insecure that they consider enlisting to put themselves in harm’s way, in the defense of Exxon and Boeing, a viable alternative. And the ones who get killed just perpetuate the cycle.
When we conflate admiration for the military with admiration for the wars they get sent to fight, we fuel that cycle for generations, as we have been doing for at least half a century.
Of course there’s also the shortcut of using military training directly as the source of entertainment. That can only end well, right?