Hello, Americans. This is a post to you because I think most of my readers are Americans...or ex-Americans living in Toronto!
I hope today was a lovely start to your weekend...your long weekend: Memorial Day.
We Canadians had our weekend last weekend, Victoria Day, complete with fireworks -- some public displays on Sunday night, others on Monday night. But most people don't associate the weekend with anything other than fireworks, bar-be-ques, beer, no work on Monday. They forget the holiday is named for Queen Victoria...our country's "grandmother".
You Americans on the other hand might also associate the weekend with bar-be-ques and beer and no work on Monday -- I don't know if fireworks are lit. But you also make a beautiful point of associating the weekend with memories...of veterans...who helped fight your wars and keep your country free and safe. I don't know if you have fireworks, but I do know that you have local parades, with citizens showing their pride, waving their flags, displaying their patriotism on their sleeve and on their chests with medals and ribbons and the like.
Kerckhoff Coffeehouse's blogging buddy of mine, Doctor Bean, said it beautifully in his post the other day:
In Grateful Memory
I have dozens of work and family obligations to fulfill before this weekend, but it would be wrong to let Memorial Day come without some reflection on its meaning.
I own my home and my own business because of property rights we usually take for granted that do not exist in many countries. I worship as I please, which can not be said in Saudi Arabia or Yemen. My family is safe, which would not be true in much of Africa. I can criticize my government publicly, and frequently do right here in the Coffeehouse, which would be a criminal act in China.
These freedoms are the bedrock of our lives upon which everything else is built. Our families, our individual traditions, our professions and our leisure would all be swept aside in an instant if tyranny replaced liberty.
All these abundant blessings were bought with the lives of American soldiers. On Memorial Day, we stop to realize this; we honor their sacrifice; we offer our heartfelt thanks to the families who grieve for the loss which helped sustain our nation. May we all strive to live in a way that is worthy of such sacrifice.
Here's a concrete way we can show our appreciation. I'm going to ask ball-and-chain to break out a credit card and donate to one of these. Please do the same.
Operation Hero Miles. Donate frequent flier miles to our troops.
Any Soldier. Send a care package to an American soldier in Iraq or Afghanistan.
Operation Gratitude. Send a care package to a U.S. soldier
I applaud you Americans, the vets and the citizens who've stood behind them over the years. You help make your country a colorful one and I tip my hat to you.
Happy Memorial Day!
BTW, you folks had better be celebrating because my reading "stats" were quite low yesterday (today was Shabbos, so that usually lowers the numbers), and I'm guessing they might be the same for the next two days. But don't forget about me; you can read my words (old or new) once you're back at your jobs on Tuesday and need something to do besides WORK, or instead of it. (PsychoToddler, Air Time, Just Passing Through, Still Wonderin', Doctor Bean -- yeah, I'm talking to you.)
And tomorrow is our community-wide annual walk for Israel, a big and very fun to-do with family and friends. Hope the weather cooperates, hope my legs cooperate and hope my kids cooperate. "Right, left, yemin, smol, right left, yemin, smol...!"