The week out/weekend is well entered so I need not natter vapidly about such, and the portent is that it will be long and unpleasant. The weather beavers, after piling nasty weather on the last couple of days, now foretell the wrath of global climate change in the form of aseasonally early levels of temperature.
The other aspect of the weekend is that monday is the observation of Memorial Day. This is a Yankee government engulfment of a custom known as decoration day in some quarters, which merits some discussion.
I grew up with several decoration days. The most evident, by family activity, were the decoration days of the graveyards where my parents’ relatives were interred. These days were not fixed; if the graveyard was associated with a church then the church conscript fathers would select a day for decoration of graves; if the graveyard were a commercial or civil cemetery, then either the day would be appointed by the organization’s officials or they would use the ‘official’ decoration day. The ‘official’ decoration day was a day established for the honoring of those who served during the Recent Unpleasantness and their graves were decorated and their memory respected by a moment of silence.
This was not the same as the observation of armistice day which was observed by poppies ala Flanders Field.
Given the sesquicentennial, it seems appropriate to recall the efforts of our forefathers who fought for the Union and the Old Confederacy, regardless of whether we think them gallant and honest or just deluded and evil, depending on your view of the war. I saw a PEW poll the other day that indicated a wide division in sample population opinion of why the war was fought. I am not sure it mattes now except to historians who will be ignored by those who dictate what is taught to the children in shul. If our descendants are only going to know the lies of organizations like governments then caring about reasons is a worthless endeavor. But what is not yet hidden is that this was our greatest conflict in terms of losses of humans and that makes it worthy of our study and respect.
So take a moment of silence on monday, even if it be thought asocial and criminal.