Monday, May 25, 2015
The last full measure of devotion
Memorial Day was originally known as Decoration Day. It was first celebrated in 1868 as an occasion for decorating the graves of Union soldiers with flowers. Over time, the competing Union and Confederate ceremonies merged into the modern Memorial Day. Today is when we honor men who died in battle. Veterans Day is when we celebrate all veterans, living or dead, who served in peacetime or wartime. For example, neither of my grandfathers died in battle for their country. They made the other poor dumb bastards die for their country. My paternal grandfather enlisted in the Army when the United States entered World War II, served for the duration, then mustered out at war's end. My maternal grandfather enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1940 and went on to serve through World War II, Korea, and Vietnam, retiring in 1968.