God, I just love Ollie!
From Town Hall --
HICKAM AIR FORCE BASE, Hawaii -- Back in the early 1950s, when I was a kid, we called it "Decoration Day." Early in the morning of May 30, the Boy Scouts placed little American flags on the graves of those who had served in wars past. Veterans -- among them our mailman, who fought in World War I -- came door to door, selling red poppies. There was a parade down Main Street, led by a color guard and the high school band. At the town baseball field, speeches were made, prayers were said and we were all reminded of the sacrifices made by those who had gone into harm's way on our behalf. It was a solemn, sacred affair, for which I admit to no small amount of nostalgia.
In the aftermath of Vietnam -- the war we wanted to forget -- much of that changed. In 1971, Congress passed the National Holiday Act, turning Memorial Day into just one more three-day weekend. After that, the spirit of the day dissipated and the holiday became little more than an opportunity for half-price sales at the local mall. More....