Jefferson Barracks on Memorial Day 2005

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A group of us went out for breakfast at Ginghams before we headed over to the cemetery. In attendance were: Myself and Emily, my Dad and step-mom Judy, sister Becky and Steve, Dad’s boyhood friend Bill with his girlfriend Sandy (childhood girlfriend of both Jim & Bill), Bill’s mother (you call her either Mrs. Wooten or Mom), and two of Bill’s kids with a couple of their kids. Oh yeah, and Aunt Mickey and Uncle Gene, too. Steve (Becky’s fiancĂ©) is an active Boy Scout Leader and he’s spent the entire day yesterday out at the cemetery planting some of the 150,000 small American Flags at the headstones of all the servicemen. He was nice to go along with us again; I’m sure he could have enjoyed relaxing at home.

Then we all met back at Jim & Judy’s place for a very nice outdoor lunch on the patio next to the pond. Later, after the crowd thinned out, some of us stayed for a second helping of dessert and a game of “marbles.” That’s a game that mimics the game that I played as a kid called Aggravation; except you play with cards instead of dice and act like it’s a grown-up game. So you call it Marbles instead of Aggravation.

Just thought you might enjoy a slice of life down here in God’s country.

Memorial Day 2005

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One of the things I’ve been struggling with lately, concerning this blog, is, as I really got into my second year of writing, it hit me hard just how repetitive my life is. I’m going to the Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery tomorrow just as I did last year. (Here’s some pictures from that day.) I don’t want to simply repeat everything I’ve already written about…so…what? What shall I say?

Well, upon looking back at my posts from last year, it appears I didn’t write about it at all. I took and posted some pictures from the day, but I didn’t write about Memorial Day at all.

I suppose because we’re in the middle of a controversial war, the usual pat phrases don’t quite do their job. I happen to believe that our military is in Iraq guarding our freedom. But, I’m trying to imagine how I would feel if I didn’t believe that. During peace-time, there are accidents of all sorts in the military when people are hurt or killed. We say they are hurt in “the line of duty” or maybe, “it’s a dangerous line of work.” They certainly deserve our thoughts on Memorial Day. They too, sacrificed for their country.

But how about the sailors on the USS Cole that were killed by the explosive-laden speed boat? They were doing their job, the nation was not at war, yet they were attacked because they were American servicemen. I know, I know…American servicemen propping up puppet-regimes in Saudi Arabia and Israel, and Iran and Iraq before that, and Panama before that. Hell, let’s throw in Great Britain while we’re at it. Come to think of it, we’ve propped up a fair cross-section of this whole globe throughout our history. I wonder why? The point is, these servicemen were killed in the line of duty.

These days our military is all voluntary. So, everyone that loses their life does so in the line of duty. Whether they’re on the front line in Iraq or in a kitchen in Georgia, they’re serving our country by putting its needs ahead of theirs. This sacrifice to something bigger than themselves is what makes all of us look up to them. We honor each and every one of them.

American Idol brings me out of hibernation

I followed American Idol this time around. I didn’t get to see all of the episodes, I didn’t try that hard, but if I was home, I’d watch it. It struck me as I was watching the very end, after Carrie had been “crowned,” that it really was very much like the old Miss America Pageant. The suspense and the emotion are genuine because one of these young singers really is going to have their life changed with the decision. The emotion is an indulgence we allow ourselves because it’s “just” entertainment; it’s not really important. These kids just want to be singers and that’s a good thing.

Pure entertainment is a wonderful thing. Pop Music and Comedy does it for me and most of my entertainment intake is from those two areas. I have to confess though, I do watch some pretty inane TV sometimes. I like shows that have little or no substance whatsoever. I like shows where the good guys win and the bad guys lose. And, you know which is which throughout the whole show. No gray areas.

I remember a show from a while back called “The Equalizer.” It starred Edward Woodward as an ex-CIA-type who “equalized” bad situations. He wasn’t paid, he would just sit and read the paper or watch the TV until some situation hit him. Then, he’d go beat up the bad guys. The first couple of seasons were great, there were no personal stories from his past, no love interests, no nothin’. I guess it didn’t get the ratings the network needed and soon they began introducing gray areas and characters. I didn’t like it after that and it didn’t last long. I watch Las Vegas on Monday nights…there, I said it.