Friday, November 11, 2005
Today is Veteran’s Day, originally known as Armistice Day. Memorial Day always gets more attention, because people get the day off, though most do little to nothing in recognition of it. Veteran’s Day has gone the way of George Washington’s Birthday, still an official holiday on the books, but hardly recognized, supplanted by the urge to celebrate more modern figures. Here in the U.S. that takes the form of schools giving students off for ridiculous occasions like Caesar Chavez Day, but not Columbus Day, not President’s Day (which, by the way, is still George Washington’s Birthday on the books, and I am of the opinion that titans like Washington and Lincoln deserve their own days). In Britain Red Ken Livingstone wants to add a statue of Nelson Mandela to Trafalgar Square, since apparently Admiral Horatio Nelson is no longer important enough. Am I arguing for more days off? No, in fact I think it entirely proper to go about our work, because the day is, at its core, a celebration of the work and sacrifice of others that allows us to do what we do. If you happen to be a communist/socialist/other crazed radical, do the world a favor and take the day off. As I said, I think too often we roll things together out of convenience, which in a way diminishes our societal consciousness of them and diminishes our respect for what has made us who we are as a nation, and for western civilization. My solution, offered only for the sake of not complaining without any idea of what would be better, would be to split the conglomerated holidays, celebrate each in its proper place in a proper way. Oh, and cancel Labor day.
There has been plenty to celebrate and remember this week, with Wednesday marking the fall of the Berlin Wall, yesterday being the Marine Corps’ 230th birthday, and today as Veterans’ Day. There are plenty of remembrance pieces on the web today, read one, read five, whatever, just do something.
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