The Private Intellectual
Ecclesiastes-Based Real Estate Advice

Friday, May 25, 2012  

Decoration Day

I wrote an essay on Memorial Day for the Christian Century blog:

As a child in Wisconsin, I looked forward to Memorial Day for the family reunions. At full sail, with 20-odd aunts and uncles and all their kids, this became a considerable event, complete with dirt-bike riding, beer-fueled volleyball and lots of laughter.
Eventually I came to understand that Memorial Day is related to military service. My grandfather was a tail-gunner during World War II; he was shot down over the Aleutian Islands and again over German-occupied Europe. He was taken prisoner the second time and escaped the camp, crossing Allied lines a month before V-E Day.
These stories, which I knew only in their outlines, thrilled my boyish sense of adventure and swelled my sense of family pride (though my grandfather once got in trouble for giving my brother his service revolver, unloaded, to play with in lieu of a toy gun). Only later did I come to understand the more difficult meaning of Memorial Day.

posted by Benjamin Dueholm | 5:02 PM
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