Wednesday, May 26, 2010

MOURN to MORN

Historians don’t agree on when Memorial Day started or who started it, but we all know it now is little more than a three day federal holiday to most people. However, whether you are one of the people who believe that organized women's groups in the South were decorating graves before the end of the Civil War or that it started in Charlestown, S.C. when slaves and abolitionists gathered the fact remains Waterloo N.Y. was officially declared the birthplace of Memorial Day by President Lyndon Johnson in May 1966. The bigger question seems to me to be what are we suppose to be honoring on this day?

It started out as a day to honor those you died in the bloodiest war ever fought on our soil. Since 1913 it has been a day to honor the dead of all the wars we fought and are fighting. You may wonder why I am writing about this on a website basically dedicated to mental health issues. Because there are people left behind each time a man or woman falls in battle.

Those left to go on living need support. They need more than a military graveside service. This country owes them ongoing support and I am not just talking about sending them a check. They need psychological and spiritual support and the country needs to make sure it does all it can to facilitate them getting connected to it.

Yes we have lots of wounded men and women being served by the Veterans Administration to varying degrees of success, but we need to take seriously our duty to the survivors of our fallen men and women. To do any less is a serious crime which should rise to the level of someone being held accountable.