Today, the Fourth ofÂ July is rarely recognized asÂ our celebration of independence fromÂ England after a long, Â bloody revolution.Â ItÂ hasÂ become a day to socialize with friends, neighbors,Â and relatives, scarf down burgers, hotdogs, and potato salad,Â attend a parade with lots of firetrucks, andÂ watch illegal fireworks.Â Â
Christmas, a national holiday in observance of the birth of Jesus Christ, has devolved into a national shopping frenzy culminatingÂ in extravagant gift-giving, another eating orgy, and then figuring out how to pay the credit card bills.Â Â Â
Aside from Martin Luther King Day and Thanksgiving, little notice is given by too many people as to why weÂ are able to sleep in andÂ not go to work on holidays.
Memorial Day, formerly Decoration Day,Â is nowÂ the kickoff to forthcoming summer pleasures rather than a somberÂ recognition ofÂ the tens of thousands of men andÂ women whoÂ have died in serviceÂ toÂ our country over the past 223 years.
There’s certainly nothing wrong in celebrating but being festive while ignoring the fundamental purpose of the festivities is unseemly, if notÂ un-American.Â
On Memorial DayÂ 2010, President Barack Hussein Obama chose to show his contempt for America’s war dead by taking one his many vacations in his old Chicago haunts, leaving the onerous burden of laying a wreath at Arlington’s Tomb of the Unknown Soldier to VP Biden.Â Â
On Memorial DayÂ 2012,Â real Americans should demonstrate the appreciation Obama lacked.
Proudly displayÂ the AmericanÂ flag on Monday at half staff from dawn until noon, then raise it to its full glory.Â Reverently wear aÂ red poppy in symbolicÂ remembrance of the blood shed for us.Â Visit a national cemetary to thank our fallen heroes.Â Offer a prayer to God in thanksgiving for their ultimate sacrifice.Â
And remember there’s a reason for yourÂ day off.Â If the day comes when we forget our war dead to whomÂ we owe our lives, our freedoms, and our way of life, we might as well also forgetÂ that we are Americans.Â Â Â
Â Â Â
Â Â Â Hear five stirring renditions of the 24-note “Taps,” aka “Day Is Done,” including a 3-minute narration ofÂ the history of Memorial Day by the late conservative actor, John Wayne, at http://tapsbugler.com/file-of-taps/.Â Â
“Day is done, gone the sun
From the lakes, from the hills, from the sky
All is well, safely rest
God is nigh.
Fading light dims the sight
And a star gems the sky, gleaming bright
From afar, drawing near
Falls the night.
Thanks and praise for our days
‘Neath the sun, ‘neath the stars, ‘neath the sky
As we go, this we know
God is nigh.”Â