REMEMBERING THE MEANING OF MEMORIAL DAY
Memorial Day is a holiday started up by the Confederacy following the end of the Civil War and eventually became a national holiday to remember all who had fallen in defense of the American way of life. It is a day to pay respects to those who have gone before us and perished fighting for all of us in defense of our liberty and independence yesterday, today and tomorrow. This year I stood with fellow veterans in East Boston who are military veterans who have not forgotten the significance of this holiday and what it means to all individually and united together.
As someone who remembers my younger days back in 1966 as I was graduating from Boston English High School, I remember signing up and enlisting in the U.S. Air Force, rather waiting for my draft notice. I thought I should choose where I wanted to service rather than waiting for a letter in the mail. Good choice. I was lucky I thought when I never went to Vietnam. I must have inherited my Uncle Joe Harrington from Charlestown who rushed to sign up for the U.S. Navy following Pearl Harbor. He ended up at the San Juan Puerto Rico Navy Yard.Spent the entire war there. met his wife, had four great kids and settled there after the war’s end. I spent my entire time in the great state of Texas.
Over the holiday weekend, I did take some time stopping by the new Charlestown Peace Garden down in the shadow of the Tobin Bridge that a number of young Townies fought hard to create. I sat on one of the benches, closed my eyes and reflected on life, my life and how it has been going so far. I am I a good place in my life, and I was also sitting in a good place thinking about it all. Remembering how young I looked in the U.S. Air Force uniform. I remembered the fears of the time with the Vietnam War raging and how many young Americans were coming home in body bags and being so outrageously being treated by war protesters and many in society.
How many came home in body bags or maimed in both body and mind. How so many perished before they even got a chance to start up their lives. Dead at 19, 20, 21 and so for a country where many of them were disrespected, too.
Today our military is treated much better for their service. They are thanks for the risks they took for so many back home. I hate wars but sometimes a nation must go to war. Of late we have had too many wars, long wars and we have too many in Washington that seem to love wars. I like peace which is why I was down at the Peace Garden. Praying for peace. Both in war and back in our everyday lives that are too often not as peaceful as should be.
Finally, I thought with mu eyes closed on that bench, all I could hear was the roar of traffic coming and going at high speeds across the Tobin Bridge. We live noisy lives, rushing all the time, and now right beneath it is a small piece of real estate dedicated to peace.
Sometimes all of us can use a little peace in our lives to enjoy the good and survive the bad.
On a lighter note, trying to put a smile on your life. I was walking down Main Street in beautiful Charlestown USA and noticed a rabbit, yes a rabbit, running by me on the sidewalk. He ran up to the doorway of a restaurant in town, curiously looking at the door. I gave the rabbit a yell, “Don’t hang around that door too long or you could end up on the menu. He turned back at me and ran like a bunny from that door. Sometimes it is the small things in life that bring one back to today’s reality like an encounter with a crazy, little rabbit hopping al over the place like the rest of us.
Summer is coming, beach weather,fun and cookouts. Enjoy it all. It will make live much more saner and happy.