I’m sitting in my office the other day and, as usual, by around 3 o’clock I’m as irrationally angry as an internet commenter on an SJW warpath. Except, instead of jerking Bernie Sanders through my keystrokes, all I wanted was to go home. Typically at this point I’d shut my door, hotspot my iPhone to my laptop (company can’t check my browser history if I’m browsing 4g from my own device) and fill the remaining 2-3 hours with ESPN, Game of Thrones streams, and the occasional visit to the Hub. But not that day; that day, my company instituted a motherfucking “open door” policy. It’s possibly in direct response to my Fortune 500 porn habit, but definitely the sort of fascist mandate you’d expect in North Korea, not on Wall Street.
Anyway, maybe the worst side effect of this (aside from the porn prohibition) is actually having to hear the remedial secretary gossip going on in the cubicles outside my door. Oh, and before any bloggers have an aneurism, my secretary is a man, so go fuck yourselves. The conversation varied from planned drunkenness to “vacations” that sounded so depressing I’d rather incur a Xanax-induced darkness I may or may not awake from.
My secretary, a nice enough guy from all accounts, proceeded to say the stupidest fucking thing I’ve ever heard aside from Hillary’s attempted “explanations” of Benghazi.
“I can’t believe we get Memorial Day off. I mean, what is it even?” He laughs, then says, “But I’m so fucking happy about it.”
WHAT IS IT? WHAT IS MEMORIAL DAY? Now, I understand his pay grade should’ve alerted me to his likely idiocy, but this? Really?
At this point, I’m fucking steaming. As the grandson of two World War II veterans and a family member and friend of countless Desert Storm & Iraqi Freedom vets (some of which are still permanently scarred from the experience, both physically and mentally) I understand the immense sacrifices these actual American heroes make for us and for the world.
You don’t even know WHY we celebrate the last Monday of each May? You just think you get a day off from your remedial job stapling and collating because America wants you to get paid to fuck around? No.
Memorial Day is about Joe Kennedy, a Harvard grad and son of one of the wealthiest men in America, who left Harvard Law voluntarily to serve and die for his country in World War II.
Memorial Day is about Butch O’Hare, the son of Al Capone’s attorney that volunteered to serve his country, saving an aircraft carrier and 700 unsuspecting Americans by taking down 5 Japanese aircraft on his own.
Memorial Day is about Pat Tillman, an NFL player that walked away from a 7-figure contract extension to serve as an Army Ranger in both Iraq and Afghanistan, completing 6 tours before giving his life for the United States.
Memorial Day is about George Washington and his 11,000 farmers, blacksmiths, and everyday people waiting out the winter of 1777 in which almost 1/3 would die of starvation, disease, and from the cold, only to drive the British forces, who had twice the manpower, all the way from Philadelphia to New York as the snow melted.
Memorial Day is about every American, both men and women, that have made this country what it is today through a showcase of courage, selflessness, and valor — more than an ordinary person like me could accomplish in 100 lifetimes.
So this Memorial Day, yes, go have your fun. Enjoy summer finally arriving in the North, your friends and family, and the first Monday in recent memory you won’t dread waking up to. But remember there is a reason our country is the greatest civilization in the history of mankind, built on equality, liberty, and the values that have sustained us as the shining beacon of freedom for the last 240 or so years.
And that reason is not politics, it is not senators or congressman, titans of commerce, doctors or lawyers, athletes or superstars. The reason is every American with a flag on their grave today, and the debt we as a nation owe them, but can never repay..