Out of sight, out of mind on Memorial Day? What did you do—or see?

Veteran placing memorial day flags MEMORIAL DAY 2009 has come and gone. I didn’t go to our neighborhood observance, for reasons I described in yesterday’s story. During the day, however, I looked for signs of awareness of veterans or fallen soldiers.
    A small demonstration caught my eye—about eight or so veterans protesting the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. They held placards inviting motorists to honk if they opposed the wars. Many honked. One vet held a sign with a website address: veteransforpeace.org.
    I visited the site when I got home. It’s a national organization of veterans of all wars devoted to the peaceful resolution of conflict. Their tagline reads: “Veterans working together for peace and justice through nonviolence. Wage peace!”
    “Refusing to Redeploy”—was the top news story on the home page. It appeared recently in the Huffington Post, where a young veteran wrote: “I scored a small but significant victory for the peace movement, for troops and civilians all over the world, and for myself: I faced the military for my refusal to deploy to Iraq and walked away a free man with a general discharge from the Army’s Individual Ready Reserve.”

    But I didn’t see much else. Of course, Memorial Day was the cover story for print newspapers: The Detroit News described how Europeans honor fallen U.S. soldiers; USA Today told about a mother of a fallen veteran finds solace in a memorial to her son on a website called “In Remembrance.”
     Memorial Day and what it stands for was not a topic of conversations in my experience. Patriotic bunting hung here and there, but the popular topics I heard on Monday were American Idol (Adam Lambert should have won, everyone said) and the plight of the auto industry.

    How about you? What did you see—or do?

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