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Sunday, May 26, 2013

Memorial Day in America

It begins about May first, if not sooner. It is the grandest American celebration, second only to July fourth. The importance touches every American, filling their hearts with sadness and joy.

It is about everything American, hot dogs, picnics, family and remembrance.

We celebrate all who have fought for our way of life. Not necessarily for the reasons we went to war but for the solidarity of the nation. We, who have joined together to act as one to protect and serve all that we stand for, all that we are.

Some believe it is to honor those who have died in service for their country. It is also to honor all of whom who did not have the ability to serve their country risking their lives, those whom the military deemed unacceptable to fight for the right to die for their nation. The mothers who stayed home and wrote letters, the sweethearts who worried stateside. The fathers who shook hands farewell and the children who hugged and kissed the parent who would depart, deployed who knows where, doing who knows what, who may not return.

it is not about celebrating the nations leader, it is us, all of us, together.

For the youngster memorial day seems a sad affair, with the reminder of those who lost their lives fighting in combat, the soldier in uniform, separated from the nation by the dress fatigues of battle, the sacrificed,  marched off in the official warrior garb of the citizens who the nation is willing to risk for the survival of the remainder. Except for the party atmosphere, it is a requiem, a funeral, a burial of the fallen. It is a confusing holiday, the overwhelming sadness of the nation for the fallen warriors and happiness for the celebration of the nations way of living, the lifestyle fought for, the living, those who carry on.

The adult celebrates everything American, the climate, the landscape, the opportunities, and they celebrate the price paid for such an existence. Thank you father, mother uncle, aunt, brother, sister and grandparent for giving us the opportunity to foster freedom and nurture it with our every breath.

Now that we are a country boasting an illegal population living under the radar we have a further obligation, us the living, to strengthen the freedoms of which this nation has been built. If we are to flourish as a 'free' nation, we must continue to fight for those rights we hold dear. We must share the passion with every resident, relishing the freedoms for which we are so proud. We must teach the new neighbors how important it is to be in a free society. The only way possible is by respecting the laws for all people, not just for those born here.

We are Americans, we are a people planted here from all the nations on the planet, we are all immigrants here because this is the land of opportunity. The opportunity to pursue happiness, not that we all do achieve it, but that we have the right to work for our happiness, suppressing the rights of others is not the free society, it is the land of the fear.  It is the oppression of hunger and want, it is the fear and greed that is never satisfied. We as a nation cannot lead the world beyond survival, if we are afraid. We must live our lives as a free people and celebrate the rights we have, we must show the rest of the world that we are a healthy happy nation because our freedoms are something we hold dear and can not be taken away from us.

When we oppress, depress and suppress others we are choking our life's breath. We can not achieve happiness stepping over the lives of others, we can only grow and prosper when we share the opportunities.

It is not necessary for us to give away, what we have worked so hard to acquire, but to share the knowledge of the skills we have honed. The smarter my neighbor the smarter me. We expand exponentially when we give every one the opportunity of knowledge. Ignorance is evil, ignorance is the root of dissatisfaction, ignorance suppresses the expansion of the species. We all are important, we all have something to contribute. The housekeeper is as valuable as the scientist. Without a house kept in order chaos reigns. Chaos is the evil of ignorance, ignorance is the evil of chaos. We  need each other to grow, and maybe that is what the Memorial Day celebration in America is all about.

Thursday, May 16, 2013


My brother was born in Brooklyn on May 14. Thirty three years after his birth my parents moved to upstate New York, and their closest neighbor has a son also born on May 14. His age is 56, my brother 65. I moved to New Jersey in 1988 and my closest neighbors daughter was born on May 14.

In New Jersey I had a dentist whose assistant shares my birth date. Less than five years ago the dentists daughter had a daughter who shares the same birth date as me.

I went to a birthday party for a friend named Robert and there were four other Robert's in the room. There were less than fifty people at the party.

If you are named Mary, Marie or Maria, most people you meet will change your name according to whether or not they like you and other persons they know named Mary, Maria or Marie. They don't care what your name is. If they do not like you and they have a friend they do like with the same name, they will change your name as to not have the negative association rub off to their relationship with the friend they like.  if they don't like you and your name is Mary and the good friend they like is also called Mary, they will call you Marie or Maria. If they like you and your name is Mary and their friend is named Maria they will call you Maria, no matter how many times you correct them.

My grandfather was born on Easter, my cousin on Christmas, my brother Father
's Day, My sister, Mother's Day, me St Patrick's Day, and my uncle and cousin share the same day.

I had a friend whose granddaughter was born on the same day as she, so she would play forgetful with the child, asking her when her birthday is and stating that her birthday is the day after, so the child could have her own special day.