As with some other American holidays, the significance of Memorial Day has been largely forgotten and seriously diminished. 

Today, the Fourth of July is rarely recognized as our celebration of independence from  England after a long,  bloody revolution.  It has become a day to socialize with friends, neighbors, and relatives, scarf down burgers, hotdogs, and potato salad, attend a parade with lots of firetrucks, and watch illegal fireworks.  

Christmas, a national holiday in observance of the birth of Jesus Christ, has devolved into a national shopping frenzy culminating in extravagant gift-giving, another eating orgy, and then figuring out how to pay the credit card bills.   

Aside from Martin Luther King Day and Thanksgiving, little notice is given by too many people as to why we are able to sleep in and not go to work on holidays.

Memorial Day, formerly Decoration Day, is now the kickoff to forthcoming summer pleasures rather than a somber recognition of the tens of thousands of men and women who have died in service to 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 not un-American. 

On Memorial Day 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.  

On Memorial Day 2012, real Americans should demonstrate the appreciation Obama lacked.

Proudly display the American flag on Monday at half staff from dawn until noon, then raise it to its full glory.  Reverently wear a red poppy in symbolic remembrance of the blood shed for us.  Visit a national cemetary to thank our fallen heroes.  Offer a prayer to God in thanksgiving for their ultimate sacrifice. 

And remember there’s a reason for your day off.  If the day comes when we forget our war dead to whom  we owe our lives, our freedoms, and our way of life, we might as well also forget that we are Americans.   

   

Arlington National Cemetery   Hear five stirring renditions of the 24-note “Taps,” aka “Day Is Done,” including a 3-minute narration of the history of Memorial Day by the late conservative actor, John Wayne, at http://tapsbugler.com/file-of-taps/.  

  The rarely-heard lyrics of “Taps”:    

“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.”