Honoring the fallen at Fort Vancouver

Memorial Day, a day that was first dedicated to the fallen Civil War dead as Decoration Day in 1868, morphed over the decades to honoring all fallen soldiers after World War I. It has been a while since I attended a Memorial Day event (I have done many Veterans Day activities). So I went to beautiful and the historic Fort Vancouver National Historic Site, where hundreds of veterans, their families, and supporters gathered to pay tribute to fallen service personnel on May 25.

I am not a veteran. I do have veterans in my family history. And I know enough about history to know the world is a dangerous place without someone protecting the welfare of folks back home. That would be people like me. I have visited too many battlefields on the planet to not take a long view of what history bitterly teaches us all.

So I think it is important to honor the fallen, and also to honor the individual stories. So I will always honor the ritual, the memories, and emotions. The messaging at such events, by the dignitaries chosen to make meaning of an event, is where issues can arise for me.  So on that note, I will call it good and wish the folks well who were close to those who sacrificed and, as Abraham Lincoln said, gave their full measure of devotion for the country.


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