Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Mike Rowe Drops Some Truth on Memorial Day

Trigger Warning:
Getting respectful up in here...
All right, dear reader, I know it's a little late, but I just had to share this little Facebook moment I found.

Dirty Jobs alum and all-around good guy Mike Rowe frequently takes time out of his busy schedule to answer questions fans have posted to his wall on Facebook.  This past Sunday someone asked Mike to get his views on a little Memorial Day controversy:

I'm very curious what you think of the argument about thanking 'all' Veterans during this holiday? There are those who feel Memorial Day is equivalent to Veteran's Day; in which ALL Veterans should be thanked. Then there are those that feel that this day should SOLELY be for those who have lost their lives while serving our country. I see many things online from both sides arguing about the spirit of the holiday, which unfortunately takes away from it’s sanctity. Personally, as a Veteran, I feel if I do deserve a thank you, Memorial Day is absolutely NOT the day to do it. I'm curious about your thoughts, not just in regards to this debate, but to the bigger issue of Americans slowly becoming divided about even the most hallowed of days? Thank you, and regardless of which side of the fence you stand on; thank you for what you do for us.
It's a fair question, really.  I've known some vets that get very offended if someone thanks them on Memorial Day.  I've also known vets that don't mind getting a thank you whenever it comes.  Then again I've also known vets that don't want a "thank you" period.  My personal feeling is that any thanks for living veterans should come on a day other than Memorial Day.  I see Memorial Day as a day that absolutely needs to be set aside to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.

What does Mike Rowe think about the whole controversy?  As always his response was epic and on point:
Aside from my time in The Boy Scouts, and a few forays on Dirty Jobs, I’ve never worn a uniform of The US Armed Forces. Nor have I stood a watch, seen combat, or put my life in the hands of a fellow soldier. So I’m not inclined to disagree with those who have, especially on an issue like this. Having said that though, I do believe the squabbling you describe diminishes the sanctity of the day.

The tendency to conflate Veteran’s Day with Memorial Day is unfortunate, but I don’t think it poses a threat to our country. The real threat, in my opinion, is the gap between those Americans who appreciate our military, and those who do not. Personally, if I were to “correct” someone this weekend, I’d focus my disapproval on those standing guard by their BBQ’s and lounging by their pools with no clue as to why they’ve been afforded a long weekend. In other words, I’d be far more offended by a lack of gratitude, than a simple misunderstanding among the well-intended.
It's definitely worth it to read Mike's entire response.  I think you'll find it extremely enlightening.

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