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Thursday, May 21, 2009

A Wake Up Call For Memorial Day

Even though I don't live in the U.S. anymore, I am still vaguely aware of the passing of the calendar milestones there. 

This coming Monday, for instance, is Memorial Day.  For most people this day marks the first day of summer... with pools and parks going into warm weather mode, families dusting off their BBQs and stores advertising sales to lure shoppers who are off from work.

But for some, it is a day to remember those who gave their lives for their country; friends and strangers alike... and to pay tribute to the concept of loyal service and self-sacrifice.

My friend Karl in Florida sent me the following video.  It perfectly sums up the idea of how real and imagined differences can be bridged by shared values, commonality of purpose and respect.

Regardless of how you spend your Memorial Day, take a moment to remember what the day is really about:

Posted by David Bogner on May 21, 2009 | Permalink


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While Memorial Day is still just a day off for many people, the good news is that the public over here seems to be paying more attention to the holiday's true purpose. Iraq and Afghanistan have seen to that.

A very good friend of mine is a bomb tech in the Florida Army National Guard and was deployed to Iraq back in 2005. I'm thankful that his day is still Veteran's Day and not Memorial Day. Another friend is an old retired soldier from a long line of soldiers. His nephew, carrying on the family tradition, was KIA over there. This is his day.

Posted by: Karl Newman | May 21, 2009 10:25:45 AM

Okay... this one had me laughing and then crying... and then confused. Who was the "Air Force Man" mentioned in the credits? I guess my attention to detail has suffered a might since my days in uniform.

BTW, Bogner. From one family of service members to another: thank you for your service to our country.

And now your civilian service to our Home.

Posted by: rutimizrachi | May 21, 2009 12:01:29 PM

Karl Newman ... While it is reassuring that the public is reconnecting with the idea of memorial day, I wouldn't call it 'Good News'.

I was always torn that there were two days; Veterans Day and Memorial Day. I always felt that one would do for both. After all, when you give a blank check to the government and it doesn't get cashed (at least for the full amount) that isn't your fault.

rutimizrachi... thank you to you and your dear husband as well for all of the above. As to your question, the answer is easy: the 'Air Force Guy' was in the apartment next door to the sailor. He slept in 'til 9 and hasn't been able to get into his uniform for years. ;-)

Posted by: treppenwitz | May 21, 2009 12:26:47 PM

"....the 'Air Force Guy' was in the apartment next door to the sailor. He slept in 'til 9 and hasn't been able to get into his uniform for years. ;-)"

But he still gets in 18 holes every day, followed by cocktails at the 19th hole, sort of like when he was on active duty. :)

Sorry, Rutimizrachi. I can't help myself, I used to be stationed at Pearl Harbor, next door to the Hickam Golf & Country Club. I just have to pick on the Air Force.




Dave, any improvement on that front is a cause for celebration. Americans are spoiled rotten and most have forgotten what it's like to sacrifice.

Posted by: Karl Newman | May 21, 2009 12:45:01 PM

Oh, about the missing AF guy. I think that was a clip from a longer movie.

Posted by: Karl Newman | May 21, 2009 12:46:40 PM

That is a wonderful film, and I thank you for putting it up. I have been struggling for years thinking about the chasms that separate the various Jewish communities; religious Zionist, virulently anti-religious Zionist, Chareidim, Chasidim, everything from Meretz to, but not including, the Neturei Karta lepers. If only it didn't take imminent danger to remind us of our common purpose....

Posted by: Barzilai | May 21, 2009 5:26:01 PM

Great video. I don't usually watch videos on blogs but I enjoyed this one.

Posted by: Ilana-Davita | May 21, 2009 7:46:40 PM

The Navy man is David Huddleston, otherwise known as "The Big Lebowski."

God bless all veterans, living and dead.

Posted by: Nachum | May 21, 2009 7:57:22 PM

I cry every time I see this.

Posted by: Foxfier | May 21, 2009 9:28:15 PM

How powerful and touching. Thank you.

Posted by: psachya | May 22, 2009 2:37:50 AM

Thank you for posting this clip. I was very moving and powerful. The end brought tears to my eyes.

Posted by: littlebirdies | May 22, 2009 4:23:07 AM


1. Thank you for posting this video and remembering the service men and women who risked all for the freedom of Americans. I served in the Air Force, and has a lasting gratitude for all of the military servicemen that came before, during and after my service.

2. I was in Israel last year. My trip included visits to both IDF Army outposts on the northern border with Lebanon and IAF F-16 base. At both locations I was honored to meet brave young Israelis and even lone soldiers from other lands that stand alert in defense of Israel. Their service stirred in me great feelings of admiration and respect. I am not a Jew, but I am proud to call myself a friend of Israel.


Posted by: Warren Smith | May 23, 2009 8:28:29 AM

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