It feels more like Monday, which is to say that it feels like every other day here. There will be the ceremonies here (which, I am told, may be postponed so the media can be there—such is the PAO life). Back at home, there will be parades, remembrances, sermons, speeches, days in the park with family, cookouts, sales, parties, and another long weekend.
I won’t tell you how to celebrate, or what to think about Memorial Day. For some it is a day of remembrance, for others, a day of mourning, and others, just another day off. Truth be told, back home I would probably spend this day like most other off-days, working in the Yard in a pair of shorts, sweaty, dirty, walking around barefoot and shirtless, showing my gut. I might even be brewing some beer, to be ready in time for Independence Day. Maybe the Mrs. would nag me into going to the lake, or at least taking the kids to the park. She’d have errands to run, or stuff to do in the house, the kids would drive her nuts and she’d push them outside to play with me… “Watch the kids while you operate that table saw/chop wood/work on the car/mow the lawn. “ And five minutes later… ”Honey, where are the kids?” I swear babe, they were right here a minute ago!
Later, off to the neighbors for a BBQ and conversation, drinks until we all either get loopy or tired, and stumble home, realizing that PT is just a few hours away.
But I can’t do any of that here. Over Here, the remembrance slaps you in the face. Two of the guys we will mention at the memorial died two days ago. Any one of us could be next. I am conducting a mission at oh-dark early and I could be next. Then again, the mission could go swimmingly and I could catch AMZ without a fight.
So I have reverted into deployment mode. Here I celebrate no holidays; days of the week are meaningless. There is no Christmas to remind me that I can’t watch the kids open presents, there is no St Pats day to drink green beer and get piss drunk. No New Years. No April Fools. I did remember my anniversary. And the kids birthdays. They are their holidays, and special to me, but I will likely realize my own birthday about three days after it happens.
So what will I remember about this memorial day? I’ll let you know tomorrow.