Un-happy Memorial Day, everyone.
Thought we’d take a break from our ongoing search for the mysterious King (nothing solid to report over the last few weeks; several ridiculous and dire warnings for us to stop reporting — OR ELSE!) to NOT celebrate what has become a bogus, continually morphing American holiday.
We do love our holidays here at The Flashlight.
A little history:
Memorial Day began innocently enough in the late 1860s to honor the fallen from the Civil War. This noble tradition continued through the end of World War II, expanding to encapsulate those wars and their fallen.
And that’s where things first changed. The country (read: the government) received such a financial boon from World War II that we not only escaped the Great Depression, but leaped ahead of the rest of the world. Naturally, they wanted to keep the gravy train going, and the war machine had worked so well in the past…
But the Nazis were defeated. Europe was in tatters. Who could unite the country together and possibly serve as a villain we needed to fight against? Why, Communism, of course.
A rift was created with Russia becoming the Evil Empire we had to watch out for, and the country experienced a boom the likes of which we probably won’t see again for a long time. You know this story — baby boom, ever-rising salaries, rampant consumerism — we had to keep growing to stick it to the Reds.
This worked out incredibly well for the government right through the first half of the Vietnam War, when public sentiment shifted about the need for the war and began questioning what was behind the fighting, behind the war machine.
Once again, they were able to morph Memorial Day to serve their interests. This time it was to serve as a distraction from many of the actual things it was honoring by MOVING IT FROM THE ORIGINAL DAY TO GIVE US A THREE-DAY WEEKEND. The crazy thing about this plan, though, isn’t the insult of the plan itself, but how well it worked and has continued to work.
Rather than have us focus our efforts on a common enemy, we could now take vacations with the family and forget about our troubles! Within a few years, it worked better than expected, not only distracting citizens from war troubles but also supporting the growth of rampant consumerism, which taught the government a valuable lesson: the real value of American citizens to them was not in uniting us against a common foe, but uniting us in our desire for STUFF and a desperate need to have what our neighbors have and do what our neighbors do.
A few brave people and agencies have stood up to point this out and attempted to get the government to return the holiday to its rightful day on the calendar in order to make the holiday again be about what it once was, but so far their pleas have fallen on deaf ears… because let’s face it, if you have a choice between honoring fallen soldiers or raking in a ton of money, which one are you going to choose?