Memorial Day, The News And Social Media

Even though I usually have a post on this blog every Monday, it turns out to be six years since I wrote anything related to Memorial Day, and even that post I had go live on a Sunday; that’s a shame!

Mom and Dad
Mom & Dad

For those who aren’t familiar with this particular American holiday, it’s always the last Monday of May and it’s a day dedicated to the memory of those who’ve given their lives in service to this country. It actually started out as a way to honor Union troops after the Civil War, then the Confederates got into it, and finally it became an overall holiday for all American troops in 1971.

The amazing thing about the Mitchell side of the family is that, though a lot of my relatives went into the service, not a single one ever lost his life though, to be fair, only 2 of my relatives were ever in war. That would be a cousin of mine who was in Vietnam and of course my dad, who was in both Korea and Vietnam.

You know, I’m one of those people who tends to believe that there are some things where everyone “has to” agree on the premise of something and the reason to honor someone. Memorial Day is one of those days because, in my opinion, without those people giving up their lives we wouldn’t have the life we have today. Sure, everything’s not perfect, but I can honestly say that I can’t think of another place I’d want to live in this world and I’m proud to be an American… and I’d hope others would be proud of living where they live.

Yet, because this country perceives itself to be free and diverse, we have people who go out of their way to go against the grain and either make trouble or say things that, in my opinion, are disrespectful. This past weekend’s new about memorial crosses damaged in 3 states is a perfect example of people going above and beyond protocol to be disruptive and show a major lack of class.

Not only that, but I’ve read commentary in some places where some people are saying that anyone who gives their life for this country got what they deserved… are you kidding me? To be against war is one thing; to say that people deserved what they got for protecting their country, especially these days with terrorism… unconscionable!

Luckily for me, it seems that 97% of the populace seems to be ready to honor our soldiers the way they deserve, and I can live with that. One of those things I try to tell people about social media is that it draws all types, but we need to figure out how to only absorb the good and try to get away from the bad as quickly as possible. It’s one reason I’ve sculpted my Facebook page to the degree I have and why I’ve been working on doing the same with LinkedIn lately.

I’m of two opinions when it comes to social media and free speech.

The first is that you can have free speech if you’re willing to deal with the consequences.

The second is that just because someone has the right to free speech doesn’t mean I have to listen to it, let alone have them in my life.

We all get to make choices in our life that will either positively impact us or negatively impact others. In the United States, we got those choices because a great many of soldiers, some willingly, others unwillingly, gave their lives on the battlefield so we can enjoy a lot of the liberties we probably take for granted.

If you know me or have read this blog or my business blog you know that I fully feel that this country isn’t always fair and equal, especially when it comes to minorities. But everyone’s equal in a military cemetery; it’s not something I’ve ever looked forward to but it explains why I feel those men and women deserve being honored no matter what.

This is my tribute to those brave soldiers of all wars the United States has participated in. Thank you for your service.
 

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Sunday Question – Do You Have Someone Special To Think About On Memorial Day?


Tomorrow is Memorial Day in the United States. It’s the day when we honor those who have given their life for this country while serving in the military. Unfortunately, for many people it’s just another holiday to drink and be stupid and to enjoy a 3-day weekend, but it still has meaning for a lot of people.

I have to say that I’m pretty lucky. Not a single relative of mine, that I know I have to add, has ever lost his or her life in a war. That’s pretty amazing thinking of how many relatives have been in the service. My dad was in both Korea and Vietnam and came back relatively unscathed, as has most of my other relatives, and probably the worst that’s happened is that one cousin has suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder for nearly 40 years because of his experience in Vietnam.

That doesn’t mean I haven’t met people in my life that have lost relatives. I remember a young lady I went on one date with back in the 80’s whose father was a fighter pilot and lost his life, and she never got to meet him because her mother was pregnant with her when he was killed. I’ve known other kids whose father didn’t end up coming back from Vietnam. I knew a lady who worked for me whose son was killed in an explosion on his ship back in the late 80’s. Strange as it may seem, I don’t know anyone who’s been killed in Iraq, or any friends who have lost someone there.

Anyway, if you have someone you’ve lost while they were in the military, I hope you take time to pause and reflect on those folks. If you’d like to mention their name here, you can.
 

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