Dishonoring Memorial Day.

Some folks can’t seem to deal with reality. I’m not talking about the folks you see in a big city, the unfortunate ones who wander the streets in something of a perpetual haze. No, I’m talking about the ones who seem to be willing to forget the world around them, and everything that happens, or has happened, in it.

One of the biggest culprits of this sort of self-delusion are the people who love to pontificate about how today, America is “paying” for all the various and sundry “sins” of what they often refer to as the “Me” generation. In their minds, America is wallowing in lassitude, governed more by some sort of desire for more and more for less and less work. It’s morals have supposedly deteriorated from some earlier, higher state; and unless we can “return” to those ‘higher’ values, we’re doomed.

What a load of crap.

I wonder how many of these fine folks have been to see a young man or woman come home from Iraq or Afghanistan in a metal box. None of them had to go and die, there being no draft to compel them. No, they, often held as symbols of the “failings” of our current society by these same ‘concerned’ folks, volunteered to defend their nation. In the end, they laid down their lives for that nation and put the lie to the idea of a generation of selfish do-nothings.

They aren’t alone. One of the things that stands, perhaps more than anything else, from this Spring and it’s savage outbreaks of tornadoes, is the willingness of people to help. In both Alabama and, more recently, Joplin, within as little as a day of the true scope of the damage was known, people have arrived, willing to help in any way possible. None of them is looking for a job or any sort of reward, they just saw some others who had suffered terribly and came to do what they could to help. They spend their own money, use their own vacation time, to do nothing more than help others. They too put the doom-sayers, the folks who deride the current society as somehow less than it was in some mythical past.

America’s not perfect, that is something I would never claim. The problem is, it never has been, and when people try to pick a past era as somehow representing a “more perfect” state of our nation and society, shows nothing so much as their own ignorance and willingness to engage in wishful thinking. The thing that is truly great about America isn’t our perfection, nor how we are ‘greater’ than any other nation. It’s how we can can rise above the imperfections present in us all and be something better, even, occasionally, something great.

A final sort of “pet peeve” in the vein of rewriting reality occurred today, and it truly pissed me off. I was flipping around, looking for something to watch on the TV, and I came up on the start of a baseball game. The Chicago Cubs were getting ready to start a game, and it being Memorial Day, they were in full ‘patriotic fervor’ mode. It wasn’t really over-the-top, or even very offensive…..until the announcer told everyone to stand for the national anthem. I do not know who the woman was who they has asked to do the honors, but someone should set down with her and have a good, long talk. You see, rather than answer that announcement by stepping up to the mike and opening with the stirring lines of “The Star Spangled Banner”, she decided to open with “God Bless America”, THEN she decided to actually sign our national anthem. I know, many conservatives these days want to do away with “The Star Spangled Banner” and replace it with a song that reflects (in their words and pathetic little minds) “our nation’s Christian roots”. Until they accomplish this idiotic task, I would hope they would have the decency to remember what song we all do rise to.

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