Friday, May 22, 2009

It's not just another three day weekend

Going back into ancient history, back to when I started my very first blog, I was amazed by the fun of it. That blog, over on Live Journal, is long gone, defunct. A few years have passed, and these days my time is almost too limited to indulge in a good, long blog. Even now, I should be working, preparing my *desk* for the three day weekend, and a weeklong vacation in June, but I'm not.

I drove out to a quiet residential neighborhood on my lunch hour so I could take a thirty-minute walk in the shade. While walking, I was stopped by an elderly couple busily sticking little American flags all along both sides of their brick walkway. The old gent grabbed the tail of my vest and gave me this huge grin. I bet he was a real charmer, back in the day. He charmed me.

But I'm sure you're thinking that some old fellow grabbing a woman by her vest is cause for a good decking. It might have been so under different circumstances. (Trust me, I could take this fellow in a fight.) Being Friday, and the Friday before the Memorial Day holiday, I'm dressed in "casual Friday" garb - dark blue denim shorts that can pass as a split skirt, and a red, white and blue vest decorated with little flags and stars. Now you know why he tugged on my vest and gave me that grin.

It didn't hurt that he called me a "young girl," either. That made me laugh.

The old gent lost a brother in World War II. He was too young to serve, being only twelve when Pearl Harbor was bombed. After WWII, he went to work building airplanes. He's as proud of his country today as he was in 1945.

With all the turmoil and upheaval these days, it can be difficult to be a proud American. Too often I take for granted the liberties enjoyed in my country. I whine and bitch - and forget no one tells me what to do. I'm free to set my own course and pursue that which makes me happy. I tend to think of Memorial Day as a carefree three-day weekend, and not dwell on the cost of having that extra day to indulge my passion for writing.

Maybe Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young said it for my generation when they told us the cost of freedom was buried in the ground. (Sorry to all the legions of studio musicians who played with them over the years. There isn't enough server space to include that list of Who's Who in the Rock World.)

I was just young enough not to realize the political import of what that song was about back in 1970/71. Heck, I didn't get a lot of CCR the first time around either. But I do now, and that's the point.

This Memorial Day weekend, I'll take a few moments to give thanks for those who served, and those who still serve. Politically incorrect to mention prayer or not, I don't care. I'll pray that lives be spared, and families be reunited. And if it can't be that way, I'll pray that we will always remember the ultimate sacrifices made by individuals and families so that we can enjoy something called a three-day weekend.

KC Kendricks

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