Memorial Day we remember passed on armed forces, and I remember my father Lieutenant Colonel Neil Menzies death from the Vietnam War. Yes I am the little baby in this photo.
It was a hard war that left many children without fathers from all the death, violence, and social conflict. Even with her many degrees and a PHD, my mother struggled hard to take care of her many children as a war widowed single mother. She could never replace the income of a career military father, and we had to lose our home and much of our belongings after his death. Many people have begun to think of Memorial Day as BBQ day, or three day weekend day, and have forgotten the meaning of the holiday. Yet death from war has many shock waves in people’s lives that stretch far into the future, and that is the true memorial of the day.
Wikipedia may have flaws, but it does condense basic meaning well. “Memorial Day is a federal holiday in the United States for remembering the people who died while serving in the country’s armed forces. The holiday, which is observed every year on the last Monday of May, originated as Decoration Day after the American Civil War in 1868, when the Grand Army of the Republic, an organization of Union veterans — established it as a time for the nation to decorate the graves of the war dead with flowers.” – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Memorial_Day
“The Vietnam War (Vietnamese: Chiến tranh Việt Nam), also known as the Second Indochina War, and also known in Vietnam as Resistance War Against America (Vietnamese: Kháng chiến chống Mỹ) or simply the American War, was a Cold War-era proxy war that occurred in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from 1 November 1955[A 1] to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. This war followed the First Indochina War (1946–54) and was fought between North Vietnam—supported by the Soviet Union, China and other communist allies—and the government of South Vietnam—supported by the United States and other anti-communist allies. The Viet Cong (also known as the National Liberation Front, or NLF), a South Vietnamese communist common front aided by the North, fought a guerrilla war against anti-communist forces in the region. The People’s Army of Vietnam (also known as the North Vietnamese Army) engaged in a more conventional war, at times committing large units to battle.” – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vietnam_War