Memorial Day 2021

This is a video made to explain Memorial Day to youngsters. Some interesting info and scenes. (11.5 minutes)

Following the horror of 2020 and the world wide pandemic, I hope Americans take time to give some serious thought to the true meaning of Memorial Day. 

As the videos explains, Memorial Day began as Decoration Day following the US Civil War. In the beginning, the decorations on the graves of soldiers as a way to honor those who gave the ultimate sacrifice was a very serious business. Over the years, especially as wars have become more like a simple part of life, the seriousness and the meaning of the holiday has become diverted into meanings that have little to do with the real somberness of the day.

Over the years the scope of Memorial Day in some instances has born expanded to include not just soldiers, but also other public figures who may have died doing their jobs for the public good. Often police and fire fighters are included. This year I would offer that we should also consider the incredible sacrifice made by health care personnel who were on the front line battling a mysterious disease for long and scary hours.

Health care personnel are still fighting the battle against Covid-19 as Americans choose to follow misinformation concerning the disease. While this is not a war in the conventional sense, the misinformation is a war aimed at toppling democracies around the world. Some 600,000 Americans have died in this war.

When I was young, May 30th was still known mostly as Decoration Day. It was still a fairly somber day since we were only a few years removed from WWII and the Korean War. Many families we knew had lost a family member to one of those wars. 

Keep Monday somber. Remember those who have fought for our country – their sacrifice was great. Think of those in our society today who honor those soldiers by putting their lives on the line to keep our society functioning. All of the above are everyday heroes. 

Please do not let this weekend pass without some serious reflection on the reason for the holiday.

About Dave Bradley

retired in West Liberty
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