Saturday, May 29, 2010

What's So Special about Memorial Day...Anyhow?

What's So Special about Memorial Day...Anyhow? Odd title, don't ya think. Memorial day is one of the most time-honored and cherished U.S. holidays on record. How dare I attempt to trash it. Wait...hear me out.

Ok; what is Memorial day? Are we honoring War vets and/or dearly departed loved ones (The Dead)? I thought that Veterans day, in November, was for that rememberance. Is this another commercialy-cooked-up holidays to get us to the Mall to open our purses? Moreover, what does any of this have to do with Career/Resume/Job-Hunt/etc?

Personally, I never gave two cents about Memorial day until the Year 1989. While serving in the U.S. Army over in Europe (1988-1990), I discovered the REAL meaning of Memorial day. What was that...how can an Army vet be so Unpatriotic?

My Unit, the 3rd Armored Division Band was asked to travel and support a ceremony in Maastricht, Netherlands (Holland). Upon arrival, I noticed headstones made of white marble. Rows, and rows, and rows, and rows of them. 'Why?' I asked.

Turns out that this was a National Cemetary built and maintained by the Dutch Government. It was a tribute...a pseudo Garden of Stone. Over 4,000 U.S. servicemen (and a few women as well) were entombed in the cemetary. They were laid to rest there because these brave, courageous, and frightened young men gave their lives in order to break the Nazi occupation of the Dutch by the Third Reich...Hitler's military force.

Again, Memorial Day isn't all that special for me. Yet the JOB that those 4,000 Americans did on behalf of the Dutch---their final resting place in a Dutch cemetary. Well, I kinda get choked up thinking about it. Find Your reason for celebrating Memorial day. If you can't find one...borrow mine.

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