Happy Veteran’s Day!
And while I’m at it, Happy Birthday to Kurt Vonnegut. Those of you "in the know" are probably aware that he was in Dresden during the firebombing in World War Two. That event was the nucleus of his novel Slaughterhouse-Five.
Veteran’s Day has pretty much lost its meaning around here. Schools were open all week this week, trash was picked up, the only thing we lost was mail delivery. I suppose we could complain that that’s pretty much the case for every holiday nowadays, that they’ve all lost meaning. Christmas is too commercial, Labor Day is just another day off, Memorial Day? Well, at least it’s the unofficial start of summer, I guess.
I remember reading something awhile back about how the kids today don’t respect anything, times have changed, society is crumbling, blah de blah de blah, and of course the quote goes back to ancient Greece. But I’m talking about something more specific; the meaning of some of our holidays. Yes, Christmas is terribly commercialized. But it also still (for me, at least) manages to retain its core of good will towards others. Thanksgiving still holds its shape as a time for families to get together and share in a feast. Now, as I’m reflecting on it, it seems to be the truly patriotic holidays that are fading away: Veteran’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day ("Celebrate the freedom of your nation by blowing up a small piece of it"—Apu N.), Presidents Day—and don’t get me started on that one—so what does that add up to? Is America starting to crumble as a nation? Is this a symptom of the coming dissolution of our nation?