Memorial Day forgotten

Published 12:00 am Saturday, May 31, 2003

Words from &uot;The Federalist:&uot; &uot;It is no wonder that many Americans no longer observe Memorial Day with reverence. Schools no longer teach civics, the courts exclude God (officially) from the public square, and the media and malls &uot;celebrate&uot; Memorial Day for commercial sales. Indeed, Memorial Day has been sold out.&uot;

If the thought to honor that day did not cross your mind, you still are not as bad as the citizens of France who should celebrate and honor it instead of continuing attempts to thwart our national efforts almost everywhere. Here is a list that should provide them with 63,000 reasons why, and these are just those entombed in France.

Sureness Cemetery – 998 American soldiers

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Rhone Dragungnan – 1,155 American soldiers

Somme Cemetery – 2,177 American soldiers

And on and on.

Aisne – Marne Cemetery – 3,349

St. Mihiel Cemetery – 4,437

Brittany Cemetery – 4,908

Epinol Cemetery – 5,679

Oisne – Aisne Cemetery – 4,253

Lorraine Cemetery – 10,933

Meuse – Argonne – 15,200 American soldiers who saved France, to say nothing of the thousands wounded while liberating a foreign nation.

I wonder if any French citizen born after 1944 ever added them up? Those Americans who assembled in Suffolk cemeteries to place flags and flowers, they know the meaning of patriotism and the price paid by those under that sacred ground.

Another group of citizens – and who knows who they are – heaped laurels and flowers upon some Suffolk achievements. They refer to themselves as the VDDA, Virginia Downtown Development Association. I asked Mr. Downtown Suffolk, Andy Damiani, who they were and he cocked his head and squinted one eye, meaning he wasn’t sure. He heads the Downtown Business Association and stated that no one had mentioned it to him. So, either someone in our city government mailed VDDA a list of alleged accomplishments, or they sent a task force into town to gather glorious info. The mayor, the IDA and, of course the Prentis House, the Railroad Station, and &uot;market days&uot; got honors. College Court was mentioned, but not the Garcia brothers. The Gardner store was left out but the Hilton Garden Inn and Conference Center were applauded even though right now they are just a pile of sand. The newspaper report did state that the ground-breaking won’t take place until next month, and I suggest they not hold the ceremony too close to the seawall.

Lots of complaints from idiots that believe there is a sensible reason not to wear a seat belt. &uot;What if the car catches on fire? What if I drive into a canal?&uot; As though those were the better odds. I never listen to that kind of reasoning, and if there is an occupied seat in my old Buick and the belt is not buckled, a red light shows on the dash and a brighter red light comes on in my brain. I don’t move until they are fastened. It doesn’t occur to back seat dimwits that when the car stops in a crash, they don’t. And I don’t want to get hit in the back of my head with a flying imbecile. I’m not at all sure the front airbag would stop both of us. It’s a good law for Virginia drivers, snap up or get locked up.

No, I am not picking on churches or religion but some church bulletins are a riot and, like Reader’s Digest, I want to share the mirth. &uot;Miss Charles Doriot sang, ‘I will not pass this way again,’ giving obvious pleasure to the congregation.&uot;

Robert Pocklington is a resident of Suffolk and regular News-Herald columnist.