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A similar effort, to return Memorial Day to its original May 30th observation, was initiated in 1999 by Senator Daniel Inouye of Hawaii and Rep. James Gibbons of Nevada. The bills have languished in committee, though, without further action. It is doubtful that Americans would look kindly upon the effort to restructure what has now become one of the signature weekends of the year. If the issue ever came to debate, it is even likely that those who push for reform would be labeled unpatriotic. A whole generation has been raised to believe that American freedom means freedom from responsibility, duty, and remembrance.
It is a long way from Decoration Day and Buddy Poppy to J. Crew and the beach.
This week, the New York Sun ran its final series of capsule obituaries of fallen American soldiers from the Iraq campaign. The paper puts the final tally of dead at 138, a number severe in human costs but infinitesimal from a military perspective. In most senses, the campaign could not have gone better or been less costly to the American military. That small fatality figure is cause for rejoicing, but it also works in a cruel way against remembrance. Since the men who died in Iraq are so few, they can seem like an aberration in the larger tale of triumph. Their small numbers are, in a sense, as difficult to grasp and understand as the immense numbers of dead in the World Wars. Such are the stubborn and sobering realities of war: that the very success of our military could work against its being appreciated.
That success, projected over a longer span of time, has won us freedoms and comforts the rest of the world can only imagine. But another sobering reality is that the fruits of these freedoms include a national culture that has enshrined creature comforts as a civic value. It shouldn’t be too much to ask that we could observe a day — even when it has the audacity not to fall on Monday — to remember those who fell for our country.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?