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Posted by on May 23, 2015 in Featured, Holidays, Passages, War | 2 comments

A Holiday Weekend Of Whine And Roses

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It is Memorial Day weekend in the U.S.

The holiday originally was called Decoration Day and was a day of remembrance for Union soldiers who died in the American Civil War. After World War I, it was expanded to include soldiers who died in any war.

As always, I’ve hung an American flag outside of Kiko’s House.

As always, I will keep the weekend simple. Perhaps we’ll take the dogs for a swim in the creek near our mountain home. Jack is slowly going blind, but we recently bought him a day-glo ball, which he loves to fetch when we throw it in the water. Then we’ll make a big batch of a Tuscan seafood risotto with porcini mushrooms. (What could be more American?)

As always, I will remember that freedom of speech is not protected by journalists like myself but by the men and women who have given their lives to defend American values — the values we cherish, not the ones politicians spout. That flag, you see, hung outside a farmhouse in rural Minnesota for decades as the forebears of the Dear Friend & Conscience went off to defend those freedoms.

As always, I will feel a sadness over loved ones and friends who will not be with us this Memorial Day weekend because of their sacrifices: Nick Tuke, Chuck Callanan, Jim Mullen, Mike Tames and Bob Layton. And Nancy Willing’s brother, Ed, who remains MIA nearly 50 years after he was gobbled up by the jungles of Vietnam.

But besides being sad, I also am angry — a slow burn, I suppose — over the mess that we’ve made of our once great country. Can we do better for those loved ones and friends? Absolutely.

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Copyright 2015 The Moderate Voice
  • Well said Shaun. I am a Vietnam War era veteran although I was never anywhere near SE Asia. I am certainly no hero having spent my time in the military on “The Frontiers of Freedom” in downtown Munich, Germany working in an office, living in an apartment and wearing civilian clothes most the time. I will remember my father who spent over 3 years in India and Burma during WWII and was awarded the Bronze Star. My mother’s cousin was the radio man on the Enola Gay and lived with that nightmare his entire life. While he never hesitated to defend the action it still haunted him his entire life. I remember my cousin who managed to survive Cambodia but was killed in an automobile accident a couple of days after coming home. I will also remember my mother who didn’t see her new husband for over 3 years.

    • shaun

      Thank you, Ron. Of the five vets I mentioned in my post in addition to Ed Willing, one died in a mortar attack in Vietnam, one died as a result of friendly fire in Vietnam, one died from the effects of Agent Orange in Vietnam, one died from the consequences of a severe case of PTSD from Vietnam, and my Uncle Jim lost an eye on Iwo Jima in WW2.

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