May 29, 2006


This is Beth Anderson, substituting for Hotclue today, since she’s off on vacation in Florida.

I want to take this day to honor all of our service men and women, both past and present, who have given so much of themselves over the years so that the rest of us are free to do all the things Americans love to do on Memorial Day.

The cookouts. The family visits. Steak or hot dogs on the grill, it doesn’t matter what the menu, it’s the human connection that matters. Swimming, if you’re anywhere around water. Watching the Indianapolis 500 every Memorial Day weekend–an American pastime if I ever saw one. There’s nothing else like it anywhere. I don’t think I’ve ever missed Indy since I became aware of it.

I love the Indy 500. The crowds, the balloons, the Air Force flying over. The National Anthem, whether we can sing it or not–it’s still our Anthem and we still sing it. Jim Nabors singing Back Home Again in Indiana. The only thing that comes even close to that is during the Kentucky Derby, when we all sing My Old Kentucky Home whether we’ve ever had a home in Kentucky or not. In both cases, it’s easy to pretend, even if only for as long as it takes to sing it, that we are Back Home Again in those places where life is simpler and neighbors still trade cups of sugar and babysitting and share good times grilling out back.

Even though the vast majority of us right now are very much against having our young men and women in such a far-away, dangerous place as the Mideast, still, they’re there, and we cherish every one of them. They deserve their day.

No war is ever popular. Most of them, in my opinion, should never have happened. But they do happen whether the reasons are valid or not, and we have courageous men and women who go far from home to fight them, giving up all of the things themselves that they’re fighting for.

Some come home okay, although forever changed. Some come home with devastating external and internal damage. And some come home in boxes.

Whether we’re supposed to realize this or not, there’s still the unmistakeable fact that over 2,500 of those boxes have come home with the bodies of our sons and daughters who will never laugh again, or barbecue again, or hold their loved ones again, or see an Indy 500 again. The thought of 2,500 flag-covered caskets all at one time boggles my mind, but we must think of it, because every one of them did what they did for us.

In addition to that, what about countless family members who are left behind to grieve. Our war dead aren’t the only collateral damage, as those who sign us into war like to describe it.

Think about it. For every one of those names on the Vietnem Wall, there are many more people left behind whose lives have also been changed forever, and not for the better.

God bless every one of our Armed Forces, both dead and alive, and all of those in all previous wars who have gone before them.

And God Bless America. We need all the help we can get.

Love on this beautiful day, and thank you for stopping by. Please come back, I know Hotclue would love to see you.

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