I was dropping off some books at the library when a student asked me why the library was closed. I replied, “Memorial Day Holiday.” She responded: “I know that it is a holiday, but why do we have it?” I suspect her question could not be answered by 75% of the population. Oh, there will be parades, speeches and politicians pretending for a day they know something about American history. They will utter words of patriotism. The same politicians who sent 7,000 young Americans to die in Afghanistan and Iraq. You undoubtedly recall those famous Weapons of Mass Destruction. We ignored history in Iraq and Afghanistan just as we refuse to learn from past wars in the post World War II era.
For the record, Memorial Day began as remembrance for Civil War dead. Heck, we wound up remembering Confederate soldiers who were defending slavery and killed over 200,000 Union soldiers. I assume fifty years from now we will remember WWII soldiers with a holiday that recalls the brave German and Japanese soldiers. The best way to remember those who died is ensuring that no other Americans will die in a useless war.