Monday, May 26, 2008

Curmudgeon Moment

Here I am, poised to head in to work at Ho(t)Me(n) Depot, and I'm feeling really crabby.

It's Memorial Day dammit.

Now I will admit that for the better part of my life, Memorial Day meant a long weekend off from school before the home stretch, or an opportunity for a barbecue, or whatever. But back then, there wasn't a war on, little less a war that has taken the lives of over 4,000 americans.

Ho(t)me(n) Depot should not be open today. What the hell? If we don't sell lots of grills and patio furniture then the terr'ists win?

This black mood all came upon me last night when I was driving home and I saw fireworks over Chalfont, PA.

Fireworks? Really?

A fitting way to remember those who gave their lives?

Among the things I found cleaning up my father's bedroom was a little wire with a rippled shiny red plastic disk on one end. I knew immediately what it was. It was the faux poppy he would wear on Memorial Day every year. In his youth, the recent war was World War I, and the poem they had to memorize in school referenced poppies... "In Flanders fields the poppies grow/between the crosses, row on row..."

I believe I threw out my father's poppy, but I wish I hadn't. I would have liked to have worn it today, wrapped around the strings of my orange apron.

Off to work.


kiturgy said...

I always get a poppy from the VFW guys who sell them at our local polling place at elections. It hangs on my rearview mirror until it fades to white and is replaced at the next election. Veterans sort of run in our relatively smal family, and it's the least I can do to remember them. As a child, we lived in suburban DC and visited Arlington a lot. The changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier was a really bid deal, as was quietly visiting among the graves. I'll call my grandfather today--a much overdue call--to tell him I've been thinking of him, amidst all the parades and poppy ribbons, recalling that he and my grandmother always went out to the town where they grew up in southern Illinois to clean and decorate the graves for Memorial Day, and of the distant relatives I met on some of those occasions.

Yup, it would be good if Homo Depot and all those other places could be closed today. And Veterans day, for cryin' out loud 9as my father would say).

Norskybear said...

Up in Canada, we always wore poppies on Remembrance Day, which is 11/11. In school, we memorized "In Flander's Fields" as well.

Dulce et decorum est, pro patria mori.

An old lie, indeed.

Miss you!
Lars, who is blogging again...