Tag Archives: Happy Holidays

Happy (?) Memorial Day

The interrobang is because Memorial Day isn’t really supposed to be a happy day. Today is the day we remember those who have died in the service of our country. This isn’t for those currently serving, that is Armed Forces Day, or the ones who have served and come back, that’s Veteran’s Day. Back when I was a kid Armed Forces Day was like my third favorite holiday because I got to play with tanks and machine guns. In fact there is a picture of me somewhere in the Army Times archive of a 6YO me sitting behind an M60 that I had field stripped and reassembled at Schofield Barracks on AFD. But today we remember those who didn’t come back, and they are numerous. About 57K didn’t come back from Vietnam, my generation’s Big War. And since then we have had the interminable Iraq/Afghanistan conflict that is still consuming men and material, and it looks like we are about to start another meat grinder in Syria. I was born into the military, and I understand the need for war. But I am also smart enough to understand that of the wars we have been involved in since the turn of the century only Afghanistan might, might, have been justified. Everything else was rich men ordering poor men killed in order to make them richer.

But the fact that the war was not a just or justified war does not make the soldiers, sailors, and airmen killed any less dead, or less deserving of honors due those killed in conflict. They didn’t get to make the choice of going to war, but they served and paid the ultimate price. And we must honor those who paid the ultimate price in unjust wars, even more than those who died in just wars. Because they did not die in service to their country, their country killed them for the avarice of already wealthy men. I wonder, when warriors get to their final rewards, do those who died to make wealthy men even more wealthy get different rewards than those who died in noble causes like freeing slaves or preventing world dictatorships? I’m not assuming there is an afterlife, because I have been there and got tossed out sent back with a frequent customer card. I’m just wondering about the differences in accommodations for those who died in different causes.

And I have no doubts about those who died for civil rights having an equal claim on a warrior’s reward in the afterlife. They died fighting for a noble cause even if they died an ignoble death, they get their equivalent to Valhalla. AFAIK they all go to Valhalla and get to “play” for different teams in the mock battles that nobody dies fighting, between feasts. In fact I think those who were killed fighting for civil rights are equally deserving of being honored on this day, even if they were never a part of the Armed Services.

Enjoy your holiday, but remember the etymology of “holiday”, it is a Holy Day even if no religion claims it.

Happy Easter!

I used to be Christian (good little Southern Baptist boy, saved and dunked) so I know a thing or two about the Christian Liturgical Year. Christmas gets all the press attention, but the real meat and potatoes of Christianity is not that Yeshua ben Yosef was born, not that he died, but that he rose again on the third day. Everybody gets born, eventually everybody dies, some of us come back, but hardly any of us come back. And by my count Jesus was out for about 36 hours, getting buried just before sundown on Friday and leaving the tomb around sunrise on Sunday morning. That’s 35:58 (+/-) longer than I was dead. And I call that a genuine miracle.

Why the bunnies and chocolate? During the Middle Ages (AKA The Dark Ages) Christianity was not as warmly as some would like us to believe, so aspects of the liturgy were “adapted” from whatever local faith was dominant in the area. Since Easter comes between two Pagan festivals, one minor (Spring Equinox, aka Ostara) and one major (the cross quarter between Spring and Mid-Summer aka Beltane) bits and pieces were stolen from both and incorporated into the cultural celebration of the holiday. Thus the bunny, eggs and chicks as representations of Spring and renewed life. Candy came much, much later. One particular English aspect, Morris Dancing, was lifted whole and (almost) unchanged. The name Morris is a corruption of Mary’s, the dancers were trying to entice a local goddess also named Mary to bring forth the Spring. And by outright lying that the Anglo goddess Mary was the mother of Jesus Christianity established a beachhead in the British Isles.

And now I’m going to enjoy my chocolate and hard-boiled eggs. You do what you want, within reason.

I made out like a bandit for Christmas, and the non-wreck Feed

I got what I really wanted for presents this year, gift cards and chocolate. My Amazon balance alone is $149.79, mostly from presents (and a small amount from a mobile game I play almost constantly). I also have coffee cards and hamburger cards. I’m card rich.

The Feed had only one link from a PA paper complaining about bicycle infrastructure. 5 Questions: Santa delivers thoughts on Carlisle road diet and more Really, using Santa to promote your backwards agenda is just stooping too low. What are you, Fox News?

Getting back to Christmas, we had a lovely feast, ham, yams, stuffing, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, brussels sprouts a vin, and the one Southern thing my wife can’t live without, Sweet Iced Tea. We had dessert at my daughter’s house.

And that’s it. I sincerely wish you and yours a happy holiday, and a joyful new year. From Opus, Clint, Clyde, and Mrs. the Poet.