Tami Silicio’s photo of flag-draped coffin
By WeMeantDemocracy on Flickr

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This long weekend is brought to you by the thousands of American men and women who died carrying out the policy of their government. Policy they neither formulated nor necessarily endorsed. They deserve our acknowledgment and respect. This week I received the following email from a guy I greatly respect:

As we all know Memorial Day is coming this weekend. This is a time when we should remember all who lost their life while serving their country. As has been my custom for the past few years, I go with a few others and place new flags at each Veterans headstone at the cemetery here in Medfield. After we have finished, it’s quite humbling as we look across the cemetery and see so many flags waving in the breeze.

This year you might notice some changes if you attend a Memorial Day parade or ceremony. The President signed into law this past January a slight change in the code of conduct for Veterans as well as active duty service men. It is now proper for all veterans and active duty servicemen to salute the flag while dressed in civilian clothes. You might notice this occurring now.

Another effort that is being promoted is for Veterans to proudly and openly show pride in having served in the Military. They are being encouraged to wear their Medals on their hat, shirt pocket, lapel or jacket on Memorial Day as well as Veterans Day. You may also begin to notice others who will choose one of their medals and wear it daily or on special occasions.

If you can, find the time to attend a Memorial Day Ceremony near you. Attending a ceremony is one way of assuring the perseverance of the true reason this holiday is observed.

I admire Ron’s intent and know it’s genuine. What irks me is the subtle war promotion driven by the chicken hawk Bush administration in the middle two paragraphs. It’s pretty much a subliminal way of manipulating those who sacrificed into promoting the neocon militarism that’s sinking our country. This is Memorial Day, a solemn occasion, not a Soviet style Victory Day of promoting military might.

Rant over. Here’s a list of Massachusetts events honoring those who died following orders.

Memorial Day 2007
Memorial Day 2005