Monday, May 25, 2020
Honor U.S. dead by not making more of them
Monday is Memorial Day, and I know what you're thinking: boo hoo, no Memorial Day sales, no picnics, no parades...
Well, dry your eyes. That isn't quite true. Some stores are open—my wife and I bought a washer at Abt a few weeks ago. Yes, the shopping experience is not the unbridled joy it once was. The employees are wearing masks now, more or less. As are we. No jars of Hershey's miniatures to fuel the deliberative process. We ran in, tapped an Electrolux, paid and ran out.
And picnics...of course you can still go outside. Outside is right there, where it's always been. True, you can't go to the lakefront. That's rough. And you can't gather your family or friends in groups, at least you're not supposed to. When I think of barbecues at Memorial Day, I think of that joyous moment when the charred hot dogs and Polish sausage are heaped on the big oval platter, the poppyseed buns stacked high in their big circular basket, the superfluous burgers glistening, just in case someone wants a burger, the pickles slivered, the potato salad mounded, the relish, mustards and —judge me harshly if you like but really, give it up because it's tiresome—ketchup set out and ready. People crowd around the kitchen island, elbow to elbow, nose to nape, grins big and goofy, hands shooting out in all direction—plates! forks!—spearing franks, splitting buns, scooping big dense spoonfuls of potato salad and chattering away how delicious everything looks. There's always enough.
Not this year. Parades are out too. I suppose some could try a social distancing parade, but the just Northbrook Junior High Marching Band, spread out, would cover a mile and take 20 minutes to pass by, "The Stars and Stripes Forever" a thin, disjointed ditty wafting along the scattered spectators, as the horns at Cedar Street try to follow the drums three blocks back at Western.
So sales ... barbecues ... parades —we've dispatched Memorial Day, have we not? Having covered the holiday's various elements, and can now look forward to 4th of July without fireworks. That will be. ..
Oh wait. I've forgotten something, haven't I? Memorializing fallen soldiers...
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