View Full Version : Happy Memorial Day

Billie Bob
01-06-2004, 00:12
completely forgot about it...

I hope most of you were barbecuing some chicken and burgers.

cole slaw

macaroni salad

corn on the cob

KC barbecue sauce

french's mustard

kosher dill pickles

kaizer burger rolls

wise potato chips

apple pie

friehofers chocolate chip cookies


iced tea


paper plates


01-06-2004, 01:02
We cooked up a big batch of solianka with a big dollup of mayonaise in the bowl. Then went out and blasted a jar of kosher pickles with my 12 guage, then call the parents of a young marine who recently came home in a box, and expressed our condolences.

01-06-2004, 03:49
Back here in Houston, we celebrated with a young friend who has been admitted to the US Naval Academy. It was really cool to see a group of teenagers who had their acts together, were on good terms with their parents, and still managed to be sort of goofy. The future is in surprisingly good hands.

I have noticed far fewer flags being displayed than in previous years, though. My neighborhood is usually patriotism-on-parade, but this year only a few of us are flying the flag. Admittedly, the US is hardly infallible but it's still the day to honor veterans like my dad.

01-06-2004, 08:10
11 years ago I wrote this Memorial Day letter to my daughters:

June 3, 1993

Dear Daughters,

My annual Memorial Day letter is a little late this year because I spent the actual holiday not in America, land of my birth and cause for its celebration, but rather astonishingly in Russia, until not very long ago, land of my lifelong enemy. This year, I observed this solemn American national holiday in Moscow, capital of the once mighty and proud Soviet Union, now the political center of a considerably reduced and still not completely defined new Russian state. This year, I saw no parades of American soldiers past and present, attended no services for the fallen of past wars, traded no remembrances with old comrades in arms. Instead, I watched members of the ghost army that used to be the Great Red Army trundle dishearteningly through the city in uniforms of a country that no longer exists. Here, my once feared enemy marched no more; in his place passed by the old Soviet officer who couldn't quite believe his career and country were over as well as the new recruit, who had no real identity of whose army he now served. In America, Memorial Day observances sober one with the reminder of the many fallen individuals from our wars. In Russia, observing the fall of an entire nation simply stuns one into a sympathetic silence.

I saw them all and wondered. Here, a veteran of World War II stood in a shabby civilian suit bedecked with row upon row of ribbons depicting his participation in great battles of desperation in such epochal places as Leningrad, Stalingrad and Kursk. In contrast to the old man's quiet dignity, a small group of embittered young veterans of Afghanistan sat sprawled in a small park, untidy in the remnants of their uniforms, noisily defiant in their talk fueled by cheap vodka and their cynical understanding of their abandonment by both their government and history. Not far away, I saw two sloppily dressed soldiers pass an officer on the street without a glance and without a salute, an undeniable sign of the dissipation of military pride and discipline. The Russian equivalent of our Memorial Day had winked out of existence on December 26, 1991 with the last Soviet President's signature signing the decree dissolving the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. In its place, neither the brave veteran of Volgagrad nor the active duty conscript of today has found a suitable replacement.

Living among my former "enemies" these last few weeks brought no joy in seeing their ultimate defeat up close. You know from long ago that since I learned their language, and in that process was taught so much about the people and their culture, that I have been hard pressed to consider the Russians my enemy. I held the belief, even while still in uniform and targeted against them by our government, that the real enemy was communism and the leaders in power who perpetuated that political system. Seeing the devastating results of the spectacular collapse of that political charade is a hollow victory for me. I feel nothing but a great sadness for the Russian people, who now must somehow forge a new life out of the economic scrap heap their former leaders have left them. Their many veterans must make do with inadequate pensions that now, through the ravages of inflation, won't buy tea and sugar for a month, much less the other bare necessities of survival. Their Memorial Day now serves to commemorate not just their fallen soldiers, but the loss of their identity as a nation. There is no monument large enough even in the heroic style of Stalinist architecture to mark this disaster.


Your Father

Living in Moscow today, I see some marked improvement in Russia's situation, though it would be unrealistic to declare that the problems noted in my letter have all been resolved. The best Memorial Day we could have would be when this sad holiday, in any nation, had been forgotten for lack of new fallen to commemorate.

01-06-2004, 09:08
Originally posted by kniga

Living in Moscow today, I see some marked improvement in Russia's situation, though it would be unrealistic to declare that the problems noted in my letter have all been resolved. The best Memorial Day we could have would be when this sad holiday, in any nation, had been forgotten for lack of new fallen to commemorate. [/B]
First of all Amen to that. I am a veteran of the southeast asian wargames. I was not an officer nor a willing participant but I was there. It the most regrettable memory of my life, one that is not of pride but of death and suffering and service to a state that neither atoned or apologized for the destruction and misery that was done at the states behest, and for not even the semblence of a rational reason. Not that one is needed for an eighteen year old. But on hindsite I would rather go to prison for my life than to do what I did and live with that.
I think Ezra Pound said it best
"why fight for a flag, when you can buy one for a nickel"

01-06-2004, 09:29

There were only two groups in those days, those that had gone to Vietnam and those who hadn't. There was no bridge between the two groups as we all found out when we came home.

01-06-2004, 12:16
happy memorial day to all you friendly enemies!
ah the good ole times relaxing by the beach on memorial day... a cold sam adams, a burguer and french f... er, ahem, freedom fries...

and always bad old neil:

"got a man of the people, says keep hope alive
got fuel to burn, got roads to drive.

keep on rocking in the free world...
keep on rocking in the free world..."

01-06-2004, 12:27
Yes, you are certainly right about that Kniga. Again Amen to the last section of your post.
Peyote , you know " I hope Neil Young will remember, a Southern man don't need him around anyhow......Sweet home Alabama ....

01-06-2004, 12:48
yeah i know, zephyr... where the skies are so blue...

oh sweet home la havana
lord i'm coming home to you!