Vail Daily’s View: Veterans offer a chance to remember
Vail, CO Colorado
Two acquaintances sent out one of those group e-mails the other day about Memorial Day.
The message was a string of editorial cartoons all on the theme of Americans enjoying Memorial Day activities and taking a moment to think about whom the holiday honors.
One shows a guy over his grill, thinking, “Hot dogs, bratwurst, hamburgers … Is there anything I forgot?” In the smoke are the faces of soldiers.
The next shows a golfer with his hand over his heart, looking from golf course to cemetery.
Another says, “Thanksgiving is a day when we pause to give thanks for the things we have. … Memorial Day is a day when we pause to give thanks to the people who fought for the things we have.”
Another shows three images with the words “The price of hot dogs … the price of gasoline … the price of freedom.” Under the price of freedom are gravestones.
And another shows a grandpa wearing his VFW hat with a teenage grandson. They are in a cemetery. The grandpa is saying, “I’d like to introduce you to a real American Idol.” There are some other cartoons, and the e-mail ends with the reflection that the veteran has more to do with freedom of the press than a reporter, more to do with freedom of religion than a preacher, more to do with freedom of choice than the politician, and so on.
The e-mail is clever and poignant and makes a point about today’s society. You know that in 1946, there wasn’t a lot of need for such messages given the sheer number of American families directly affected by World War II.
The actions in Iraq and Afghanistan – where the total toll so far in our 21st-century conflicts comes short of one day of combat in world wars and one hour in some Civil War battles – directly affect far fewer of us. This is not to diminish the sacrifices today. But it is to recognize that we’re far more removed from the combat zones today.
Local veterans are providing a way Monday to remember what the holiday commemorates and pay respect to the veterans, especially those who gave their lives. The ceremony is scheduled at 3:30 p.m. Monday at Freedom Park in Edwards.
On the agenda is a dedication to a limestone fragment from the 9/11 attack on the Pentagon, a speech by the author of “The Loon,” Boy Scouts, musicians, emergency-services workers, veterans and possibly you, too.
You know, telling the veterans “thank you” still matters, and maybe more than ever.