Adventures in Intoxication 10: America – Land of the Free, Home of the Forgotten
Saturday, May 28th, 2011 at 5:40 am by Brandon Vogel

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It’s Memorial Day Weekend, and no doubt many of us are gearing up for vacations, barbecues, and family fun-time. None of these activities have anything to do with Memorial Day as it was conceived.

At least in grade school, there was the annual visit from the Uxbridge Flying Squadron,  a multigenerational group of veterans who spoke about sacrifice, loss, and the true meaning of the holiday.  As I recall, it was a pretty boring event until about 7th grade, at which point something clicked and I began to appreciate the presentations.

That wasn’t all. There was also the Memorial Day parade, a time-honored tradition in which the local Boy Scout Troops participated. Hence,  I participated in the event for five consecutive years. If nothing else, it was at least a celebration of our local servicefolk… perhaps less focused on the military and more on the fire and police departments, but still an honorary event for those who risk their lives so the rest of us don’t have to.

Now, on my own, there is nothing required of me for Memorial Day. I am not obligated to go to any of these events, and I likely won’t. As so many other Americans will, I will use the time to enjoy the freedoms that I have been provided by those willing to accept and pay the ultimate sacrifice.

As I drove by the Hanscom Airforce Base cemetery yesterday on the way back from work, and noticed a sea of flags obscuring the better part of the grass, I realized just how sad that is.

The moral of the story is that there is a fine line between freedom and apathy.

 


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