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A holiday

Well, for most of us this is the beginning of a holiday weekend and I hope you have fun plans. There will be a lot of pool time and backyard grilling going on, but perhaps it wouldn’t be a bad idea to recall, for just a moment, what the holiday is.

Will your kids know what we momorialize on Memorial Day? As I see flags lowered to half-staff or row after row of grave markers at Arizona National Memorial Cemetery or Arlington or Normandy, it’s painful to reflect on how many of them didn’t always understand why they were asked to sacrafice their lives.

But they did anyway, because they were soldiers and they didn’t have time to debate whether a war was just or unjust — or even whether it was a congressionally declared war or not. Great-grandfathers knew what WWII was about — Hitler wanted to rule the world. Korea wasn’t quite so clear. Vietnam created more questions than victories and those doubts have continued through confrontations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The only constant is all those graves and that’s who we salute this weekend.

I’m Pat McMahon.