The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Opinion

May 24, 2013

Other Views: Still inspiring

— Cutbacks in the military budget and the still-recovering economy mean this Memorial Day weekend will go down as a relatively subdued affair — relative, that is, to our usual end-of-school, official-start-of-summer blowout.

The weekend will pass without many of the usual flyovers and military bands. Sponsors of Memorial Day events say they are having trouble rounding up corporate sponsors, particularly among defense contractors, and in a chilling reminder of the Boston Marathon bombing, security costs have gone up all over, especially wherever crowds gather.

The travel association AAA says fewer Americans will be driving to weekend destinations, although merchants of the still-rebuilding Jersey Shore are anxiously, desperately hoping for that first wave of summer visitors.

In Washington, D.C., where the National Memorial Day Parade has had to be scaled down because of cuts to the Defense Department budget, a local paper’s annual Memorial Day weekend supplement, traditionally devoted to ideas for summer fun, instead has features on preparing for power outages, basement flooding, high winds and grill fires.

But these are only distractions from a day meant to honor those who have fought in America’s wars, a long, distinguished line stretching back to the American Revolution. The instant cause for Memorial Day was the Civil War, which had a death toll of 620,000 — a brutal tally considering that the American population was only about 31.4 million.

The unofficial, generally local ceremonies honoring those dead were more formalized in what was to be a day of remembrance, May 30, per the official proclamation by Gen. John Alexander Logan in 1868.

The commemoration came to be called Memorial Day, with the federal legal holiday being the last Monday in May. It was expanded to include all of the U.S. dead: from wars traumatic and transformative, like World War II and Vietnam; wars obscure, like the Sumatran pirate expeditions; to wars ongoing, like the Afghanistan conflict, now America’s longest.

Memorial Day asks little of us. Lay some flowers on a military grave. You need not know who’s in it, only that the person was called and served. And at 3 p.m. local time Monday, observe a minute of silence by way of remembrance.

This Memorial Day may be a little lighter on the parades, pageantry and flyovers, but it should be no less inspiring.

— Scripps Howard News Service

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Opinion
  • Your View: Beware the wolf

    The wolf (the Humane Society of the United States, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and other radical animal rights organizations) has conned Little Red Riding Hood (the Missouri Rural Crisis Center, The Joplin Globe editorial staff and, as of last week, the local Democratic leadership).

    July 31, 2014

  • Our View.jpg Our View: Too many questions on No. 5

    Even though the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees “the right of the people to keep and bear arms,” Missouri voters on Aug. 5 are being asked to consider an amendment that restates that freedom and then goes even further.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Geoff Caldwell, columnist: An America transformed

    On Oct. 30, 2008, Barack Obama boldly declared: “We are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America.”

    July 30, 2014

  • Other Views Other Views: Open the primaries

    Missourians will go to the polls in the Aug. 5 primary.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Your View: ‘Right to Farm’ is wrong

    On Aug. 5, voters will be asked to make a decision about Amendment 1.

    July 29, 2014

  • Your View: No on Amendment 7

    The Missouri Department of Transportation is wanting more money through a three-quarter-cent addition to the sales tax. Consider one example of how it spends your money.

    July 29, 2014

  • Your View: Bad way to get revenue

    I received two fliers through the mail today asking me to vote “yes” on Amendment 7, which would add a three-quarter-cent tax to Missouri’s sales tax to help maintain roads and bridges.

    July 29, 2014

  • Our View.jpg Our View: No need for No. 9

    “Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended so that the people shall be secure in their electronic communications and data from unreasonable searches and seizures as they are now likewise secure in their persons, homes, papers and effects?”

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Other Views Other Views: Symptom of bad policy

    The Obama administration continues to be surprised and shocked when its policies of good intentions suddenly meet the hard reality of unintended consequences.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Rebecca French Smith, guest columnist: Amendment 1: Farmers are 'boots on the ground'

    Take a moment and ask yourself who was the last person in your family to farm.

    July 28, 2014

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