Jack wrote this in 2005 or 2006:
To suggest Memorial Day is for honoring ‘heroes’ is to rob the 99 percent of those rows of graves in National Cemeteries of being honored (by you) on Memorial Day. Those runned over by trucks, drowned, killed by accident far from any contact with enemies weren’t heroes. Those who died in plane crashes, ships hit by torpedoes.
To suggest they were is an insult to the men of courage who did throw themselves on hand grenades.
But to suggest those who weren’t heroes aren’t worthy of remembrance measures the worth of those who say it.
Memorial Day became Memorial Day in 1882 for remembering those who died in the Civil War on both sides.
Depending on perspective, one side, or the other, definitely wasn’t defending freedom.
Whether they’d be correct in believing they died in vain, whether almost all our ancestors who’d look at us and despise us for what we’ve become, are correct, those rows of graves include thousands of reluctant draftees who served and died because they had to do so or go to jail.
Many didn’t believe they were defending freedom, nor anything else worth dying for. If they could look at this country today and speak of what they see here many would tell you their deaths were meaningless. They died for nothing, many would say.
Memorial Day ain’t for flag waving, for drumming up support for current wars.
Memorial Day is for remembering those who died in uniform.