I Don't Do Decoration Day

          When I was asked how I celebrated Memorial Day, I tried out the reply:  I don't celebrate May 31st.  It seems I say something similar almost every holiday.  This time, I decided I'd try to come up with something polite, and truthful, and which wouldn't set me up for follow-on questions.  And, it didn't work.

          "What do you mean?  You were in the service."  She said with a southern accent; maybe Texas near the Oklahoma border.  It came out—Whadja mean, yaw're enda sarvace!

          I must have made a scowl or something.

          In the past I've tried an abbreviated, "I don't celebrate," which only seemed to imply I didn't drink or party and, once, I attempted the über-short, "I didn't"—but that person assumed I must have had to work.  I was now thinking I might regret not choosing the put flags on graves outright lie.

          "I'm surprised you don't acknowledge our fallen heroes, retired army an all.  Betcha think it's alright that Obama didn't lay a wreath at Arlington then."
          Although indignation seemed to be familiar territory for her, we didn't know each other well enough for her to pull indignant, so I said, "I look at it the same way I look at December 25th...I try to be polite all year, not just the holidays...and, I try to remember my heroes all year round, not just the first day of summer.  And here's something you should know:  working in the military was just a job.  And, like any job, there's maybe one hero for every couple-thousand ass-hats.  Dieing doesn't make you a hero.  Cemeteries are filled with ass-hats."

The world is moved along, not only by the mighty shoves of its heroes, but also by the aggregate of tiny pushes of each honest worker.  — Helen Keller (1880-1968)


Davecat said...

'Working in the military was just a job. And, like any job, there's maybe one hero for every couple-thousand ass-hats. Dieing doesn't make you a hero. Cemeteries are filled with ass-hats.'
And that's when you had to sidestep Ms Texas' awkwardly-thrown punch, right?

You're entirely right, though. Joining the service is obviously not for everyone, and I do appreciate those who do it, cos I wouldn't. However, it's statistically impossible and embarrassingly optimistic to believe that every single person joining the armed forces is a faultless paragon to live up to. People like your nationalist friend tend to overlook that fact, mainly cos they're the exact sort of individuals I'm referring to.

Romius T. said...

I just had a friend tell me that she noticed that she woke at the same time everyday and looked the passage up in the bible and it was all about faith and blah blah blah...I did not have th heart to break it to her about her superstitions.