On this Memorial Day weekend, let’s remember those who served

Remembering those who served and died is the real reason for Memorial Day. Let's please remember that important fact.
A son and grandson find the name of a cherished relative on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial wall in Washington, DC. (Photo by Doug Thompson).

Our driveway is a massive washout after more than a dozen inches of rain over the past week.

What looks like three canyons now snake down the incline, culminating in an engorged creek that still runs stronger than normal at the bottom.

Another storm rumbled through late Friday afternoon, adding insult to injury.

Wet weather sends my already-crippling arthritis into attack mode and getting out of bed became a challenge o multiple attempts to get to my feet. It will take many 100 mg. of Tramadol and two 650 mg.Tylenol’s 8-hour arthritis capsules to ease the pain to workable levels to try and function for the day. Adding glucosamine, chondroitin, and vitamin D help too.

Let’s face it. The devastating nature of advancing age and the bitchiness of Mother Nature this week does not forbode a pleasant Memorial Day weekend.

On “normal” Memorial Day weekends, I would either be at Rolling Thunder in Washington, DC, or at Chantilly Farms for the annual BBQ and Bluegrass festival. One is canceled and the other no longer exists. Can only blame the COVID-19 pandemic for one.

This Memorial Day weekend is ruled by relaxed but still in-place restrictions on what we can and cannot do legally under the rules of Virginia during a national pandemic emergency and the recommendations of the Center for Disease Control (CDC).

Politics, sadly, also comes into play and social media is overrun by often angry arguments of what should of should not be allowed. One of our local ministers. and often rabid GOP pontificator went on a tirade on Facebook about the governor (a Democrat) lowering the flags to half-mast on Memorial Day. That order came from GOP president Donald Trump, not Gov. Ralph Northam.

He missed that point because he was in too much of a hurry to attack a governor from another side of the political street.

As a political agnostic, I don’t give a damn one way or the other about who ordered lowering the flag. It should have been done long before Memorial Day to honor those who had died in this pandemic.

Partisan politics (yes, that is redundant) control far too much or our society. Sadly, I worked as a political operative for the Republican Party for six years and then served bi-partisan politics for another five as president for political programs for The National Association of Realtors, so I must accept blame and shame for being part of the problem.

The pandemic should not be a political issue. There are serious issues of delay, deception, and blame because our leaders put politics above the health and safety of the nation and, sadly, politics will determine if we return to normal soon or later or never.

On Memorial Day, I hope to ride or drive over to Buffalo Mountain Presbyterian Church’s cemetery to honor my grandfather, Walter McPeak, for his service in World War I and my mother, Ethel McPeak Thompson Bolt. She worked in the Navy Yard in Norfolk during World War II. She also met Navy electrician’s mate William D. (Tommy) Thompson there. Good thing. I wouldn’t be here now if they had not married.

Then I will head over to the Veterans Cemetary in Dublin to remember a good friend and armed forces DJ Adrian Cronauer. whose service in Vietnam was remembered loosely in the movie, Good Morning Vietnam!

Adrian and his wife Jeane are buried there.

Remembering those who served and died is the real reason for Memorial Day. Let’s please remember that important fact.

 

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