It’s Memorial Day. And just like being Christian and liberal or a philosophy major and an MD, I’m anti-war and pro-military. What I mean is that while I don’t support most wars and have a very narrow view of the just war theory (which I learned about when I read this book), I am fiercely patriotic.
I boo-hiss people who do not take down their unlit American flags at night. (Here are the other rules. FYI: be prepared to keep your American flag napkins for the rest of your life.) And while I don’t believe everyone has to SAY the Pledge of Allegiance, I believe that you should stand up and be quiet during it. If only out of respect for the country you’re living in or visiting. Same goes for the Star-Spangled Banner.
In fact, when we went to South Carolina in April, a group of soldiers (I’m using that term ubiquitously. The only thing that I’m sure of is that they were not sailors. Because I’m pretty sure that sailors don’t have camouflage uniforms. If they do, they are probably more grays and blues. Or with little fish on them. To blend.) sat next to us at lunch. After a mumbled debate as to whether it was weird (verdict: no), my son and I went over to the table, apologized for interrupting their lunch, and sang the Star-Spangled Banner.
No. (But I’m kinda psyched that you believed me. Or afraid.) Seriously, there was no serenading. We just thanked them for their service.
I’m liberal and realistic. I know that there are moments when those men and women separate us and other good people around the world from some pretty awful events. And while I’m the sort of person who could probably find good in ANYONE, I understand that sometimes the military is the only means to saving people quickly.
Is the necessity as often as we actually send our troops into battle? No. Do I wish that we’d sent our armies to Darfur instead of Iraq? Yes. Do I blame those men and women in uniform? No. Well, not until we get to the big fish. Or cheese. Or kahuna.
We give to National Military Families Association every year. Or you can eat a burger and think about the troops. Or you can think about me. I’ll probably be doing that last one, too.
Happy Memorial Day, my friends.