May 29th, 2004


Memorial Day, honor, breach, and election

This weekend is a long holiday weekend in the USA, where it is Memorial Day, on which, like Veterans Day, we are supposed to remember armed servicemen (and -women) who died in military service.

I could really do without much of the rhetoric around militarism. But I recognize that at least some of these men and women died because they believed in the democratic ideals that the United States likes to brag about (recent events in Abu Ghraib notwithstanding).

Though Americans often breach these ideals rather than observe them1, the ideals of universal right to suffrage, freedom of speech, and collective participation in the democratic management of a nation are still things we care about. It's not an option, given its awkward position in the calendar year, but the real time of year to be honoring veterans and victims of American wars is on the Tuesday after the first Monday in November, not the last Monday in May.

exterra is rabble-rousing at work to have a half-day off on Election Day written into their office policy manual. I say more power to her.

1: I was going to say "honor in the breach" but I found this Shakespearian original use of honored in the breach.