Dear Grandparenting: Seven-year-old grandson Jake told me he loves Memorial Day because “everybody barbecues stuff and we have fun.” I’d say that is pretty typical. It’s a major national holiday, the unofficial start of summer. Americans want to let the good times roll.
It’s painfully obvious that America is forgetting to remember the reason why the last Monday in May is a federal holiday. There are a whole lot more people dead-set on hitting the beach than pausing to give thanks to the nation’s fallen heroes who died in service to their country.
I kept my mouth shut about all this with my grandson this time around. Next time, who knows? Who better than one who served in Vietnam? That would be me. We take freedom for granted. The Ukrainians sure don’t. Art Belcher, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Dear Art: Most grandparents today grew up in families accustomed to wartime service. But as World War II and Vietnam recede into the ravages of time, the flame flickers a bit more.
America’s youth increasingly regard military service as something other people do. Recruiters for all branches of the U.S. military force report depressed levels of interest among those eligible. And according to a recent Pentagon report, the great majority of America’s youth are ineligible, often unable to meet basic health or educational requirements, or they come with a criminal record.
We wouldn’t have told your young grandson about rows of dead soldiers either. The laughter of children is an antidote to all that, living proof the fallen didn’t die in vain. Let the children play. They’ll find out soon enough.
Grand remark of the week
Kerry Turner from Lansing, Michigan had just finished watching “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea” with grandson Calvin, who was eager to tell his mother about the movie.
After Calvin told his mother about how the giant octopus attacked the submarine, she asked how the sub sank.
“Mom,” he said excitedly, “it’s real simple. The sub had 20,000 leaks!”
Dee and Tom, married more than 50 years, have eight grandchildren. Together with Key, they welcome questions, suggestions and Grand Remarks of the Week. Send to P.O. Box 27454, Towson, MD, 21285. Call 410-963-4426.