While for me, Memorial Day weekend means an extra day off and plenty of beer and grilled meat, the loud rumblings of motorcycle engines by the Mall--part of "Rolling Thunder", a motorcycle rally in honor of America's POWs and MIAs from Vietnam--reminds me that the holiday has a much deeper meaning for those who lost loved ones in our country's wars. The holiday dates back to our bloodiest war, the Civil War, when over a half million soldiers lost their lives.
Cynical as I can often be about this country and what goes on here--from politicians who I wouldn't trust to run a lemonade stand, to random idiots making and supporting terrible movies, to obnoxious bastards who can't seem to drive properly if their lives depended on it--we still have more freedom than anywhere in the world (and before you start mentioning other democracies, keep in mind that France bans a lot of religious symbols, England has "no entry" lists banning famously controversial people, and Canada? They still have someone else's Queen on their money. Freaks!). This country is also responsible for more good in the world than any other nation and our soldiers and sailors and Marines and pilots have risked and often lost their lives in doing this good--most of them a lot younger than I am.