If those oftentimes freaks, weirdos, charlatans and occasionally those genuinely entrusted with some otherworldly connection into an extra dimension can, once they lay hands on you in church or where ever you stumble across them, be not even in a tongue-in-cheek way referred to as “healers”, then it serves to reason that those that died for America, even if they didn’t do so in a military capacity, might also deserve a little notice on Memorial Day.
The concept of “dying for your country” is a strange thing. Of all the possible things your country might logically ask you to do, pay your taxes, vote, root in the Olympics and the World Cup, offering up your life would seemingly be dead last since human life is the ultimate reality and nations should be proud whenever able to produce it, not vice versa.
So as we ease into an idea like “Memorial Day“, which initially was just organized to celebrate the deaths of Union soldiers after the Civil War then blossomed to encompass all military related deaths, while we tip our hats, we have to wonder about all the possible exclusions.
Crispus Attucks, first victim of the Boston Massacre and a man, it could be said – if you stretch things as far as I’m about to – is the reason for the founding of this great nation comes easiest to mind because there wasn’t even a recognized regular army back when that Black man took on British soldiers in a scirmish that cost his life and the lives of two others.
Then, of course, there’s John Brown, arguably the most sensational white man the world has ever seen, an American who fought the US Army but against slavery.
And if we wanted to wade into genuinely murky waters, we could question why anybody from the Confederate Army, a group that rose up and made war against the standing United States, gets honored on Memorial Day, as we know that they do.
Still, it’s understood that there’s some really sick fuckers out there, and it’s with the possibility that we’ll have to defend ourselves against encroaching madness that even causes a nation to form an army in the first place (I’m gonna a play nice here and avoid the whole “imperialism” thing), but what about all the internal dangers?
People don’t just die because they get run over by busses. Some get cancer.
And it’s because of this understanding that it more than serves to reason that if anything, the Black rights movement has always been a proponent of the internal health of the United States of America.
The Black and Civil rights movements have been those small pains that reminded us that despite the fact that we projected “land of the free“, “all men are created equal“, “liberty and justice for all“, and a whole bunch of other bullshit that, if true, would have indeed made us the greatest country on earth, we needed to heal certain areas of our very pscyche because our hypocrisy would have otherwise been laid open before the world.
And, not surprisingly, this task cost lives; in many cases, Black lives.
These people died for America.
So would it be too much for them to get a video montage, a shout out or at least a bell-toll on Memorial Day?