Tuesday, 27 May 2008

Memorial Day

As I was looking around various blogs yesterday I soon began to realise that it was Memorial Day, an American holiday that commemorates those that have fallen during conflict.

As far as I can tell, this holiday is beginning to take on a slightly different meaning in that it reminds people to say thank you to those who have joined whichever branch of the Forces and are willing to put their lives at risk.

Now, it may well be that you don't agree with why they are putting their lives at risk or feel that we shouldn't be 'celebrating war' as some see such events as doing. However, while I don't know about America, or any other country for that matter, I do think that here in the UK we don't do enough for our soldiers and their families.

There is a move afoot in the UK to have an Armed Forces Day - a holiday Monday some time in November. Again, this has stirred up all kinds of viewpoints, from the basic "yes, lets have another holiday Monday" which isn't the point, to the more complex views on how we should be supporting our men and women in better ways rather than having just another holiday!

Whatever your viewpoint may be I do get the feeling that here in the UK we no longer treat our soldiers with the pride and patriotism that we used to do, or at least that the photographs from the World Wars seem to suggest that we used to do.

Does anyone out there feel differently or think that that respect should be earned and not automatically granted? Personally I feel that we could show our support in many more ways and at the very least we should be far more open about out support for these individuals even if we don't agree with the politics behind some of the recent deployments.


Christie O. said...

I completely agree with you. I have my own views on the wars going on, but that's neither here nor there. I will always support the men and women and their families who do so much to protect and defend our country. Whether I agree with the politics or not, these men and women (like my brother-in-law who just got back from Iraq, and my sister-in-law who is just about to go) are putting their lives on the line for me and my family, and I am so grateful. I wish more people paid attention to that. Until recently I never "got" it. Now, I don't even like to call it a "holiday". I just like to remember what it really means.

Man, what a soapbox. Sorry! oh and ps. no offense about the scrunchy!! :)

Beth A. said...

I generally agree with you that we should support the members of the armed forces even if we don't support the wars they fight. In the US, we celebrate Veterans' Day in November, which I'm pretty sure honors all members of the armed forces, or at least the ones who have served in wars.

This is a bit of a loaded issue here in the US for some people because there have been people who accuse anyone who doesn't support the war in Iraq of not supporting the troops, which is usually completely untrue. Meanwhile, the Bush administration pays great lip service to supporting soldiers while cutting their benefits and failing to adequately fund veterans' hospitals. In general, I think soldiers are better honored with adequate financial and medical support.

Thanks for stopping by my blog!

Hecticmom Undone said...


Thank you for your post. I agree with Beth. I don't agree with the war, but I completely and totally support our troops. These are men and women who really do put their lives on the line every day - whether I think their boss is making the right decision or not.

I do think that the soldiers now get more "respect" than the Vietnam soldiers did. Although, I was just a small child then. It's just more of a feeling than anything else.

baby~amore' said...

I agree - very difficult for those with loved ones on deployment.
I abhor the idea of war and killing of innocent people.I understand that someone has to fight for the civil rights of some minorities in other countries.I am thankful there are people who step up to help - even if some don't have a choice about going.
I think the armed forces deserve more and their families more support too.

BTW - I here from NaComLeavCom
My Little Drummer boys

Kim L said...

It is truly a shame how the government here in the US is dragging its feet in giving fair benefits to veterans. Not everyone who serves in the armed forces is automatically a good person, but for those who serve, there should be fair compensation for the many hardships they go through. Now many soldiers are finding that they don't have enough money from the GI bill to pay for college, after spending years in the army. Army hospitals are coming under fire for not giving appropriate care to injured vets. And Bush is threatening to veto a bill that would increase funding for vets to go to college. It makes my blood boil!

Personally I think the war was a mistake but that doesn't mean we should abandon the soldiers putting their lives on the line.