Some people can’t be happy unless everyone observes a holiday the same way they do.

I was reading an article at NatGeo’s website titled Memorial Day: How It’s Changed, Why Some Oppose 3-Day Weekend which was partially about the history of the holiday, but also included a section on why some folks are pushing legislation to have the date moved back to the 30th of May.

It seems some folks, mostly Republicans, don’t feel people are observing the holiday with the level of solemnity they feel it deserves:

“The majority of Americans view Memorial Day as a time for relaxation and leisure recreation rather than as a solemn occasion and a time to reflect and pay tribute to the American servicemen and women who sacrificed their lives in defense of our Nation,” according to an American Legion resolution issued at the group’s 2010 National Convention.

Basically they’re upset that some folks aren’t spending the day the way that these people think it should be spent. How dare they take advantage of a three day weekend to have fun!

But they can fix that:

Instead of being part of a long weekend, the resolution asks that Congress “restore the official observance of Memorial Day to May 30 and that all American institutions toll their bells for one minute, beginning at 11:00, on that date in remembrance of those who died defending the Nation.”

Yes, I’m sure ruining a three-day weekend for everyone will suddenly make them more reverent about the sacrifices of service members.

Look, I appreciate the sacrifices that have been made by my fellow countrymen to secure the freedom we enjoy, but isn’t observing a holiday they way I feel like observing it part of that “freedom” thing they died for? For all their talk about Liberty and Freedom, the Republicans certainly seem keen to spell out how others should live their lives and if you’re not living it they way they think you should be then they’ll see if they can’t force you to do so.

I’m really sick of the false-patriotism of the flag-wavers in this country who think that they have a lock on what it means to be patriotic, but can’t be bothered to fulfill basic civil duties such as jury duty. You want to spend your Memorial Day visiting the graves of dead service members? Hey man, more power to you. I’ll raise a toast at the BBQ I’ll be attending instead.

Don’t think breaking a three day weekend will change that.

“Don’t Be A Sucker” film clip from 1947.

You can learn a lot from your elders. Here’s a film clip from 1947 produced by the U.S. War Department that is stunningly apropos to today:

This is how I grew up viewing America. We are a nation of immigrants and minorities of one form or another. It’s what makes us unique and part of what gives us our strength. It’s something to be proud of as it takes a lot of effort to make a country such as this work. There will always be people, both knowingly or ignorantly, who are willing to destroy what makes this country great. Who will seek to divide and undermine for their own gain. Who will preach hate and wrap themselves in the flag while doing it. We have a major news network that seems to have been custom built just for that purpose. The only defense we have against them is to remain ever vigilant and do our best to not be a sucker.

Found via A Blog Around A Clock.

By the way it’s Banned Books Week.

I almost forgot to mention that it’s one again Banned Books Week:

Banned Books Week is the only national celebration of the freedom to read. It was launched in 1982 in response to a sudden surge in the number of challenges to books in schools, bookstores and libraries. More than a thousand books have been challenged since 1982. The challenges have occurred in every state and in hundreds of communities. People challenge books that they say are too sexual or too violent. They object to profanity and slang, and protest against offensive portrayals of racial or religious groups—or positive portrayals of homosexuals. Their targets range from books that explore the latest problems to classic and beloved works of American literature.

According to the American Library Association, more than 400 books were challenged in 2007. The 10 most challenged titles were:

1. And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell
2. The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
3. Olive’s Ocean by Kevin Henkes
4. The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman
5. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
6. The Color Purple by Alice Walker
7. TTYL by Lauren Myracle
8. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
9. It’s Perfectly Normal by Robie Harris
10. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
(Click here to see why these books were challenged.)

During the last week of September every year, hundreds of libraries and bookstores around the country draw attention to the problem of censorship by mounting displays of challenged books and hosting a variety of events. The 2008 celebration of Banned Books Week will be held from September 27 through October 4.

Take a moment to celebrate your freedom to read whatever the hell you want this week by sitting down with a banned book for a few hours. The American Library Association maintains a list of the 100 Most Frequently Challenged books from 1990 to 2000 that has lots of potential reading material. Several books by Mark Twain are on the list as well as the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling, but those are just two of my personal favorites. There’s something on the list for everyone.