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Memorial Day

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Like Veteran’s Day, Memorial Day has now lost its original meaning. I’m generally against detaching remembrance holidays from the wars that generated them, because generalizing does damage to the experience of the particular. Rather than hazy recollections of all US wars (and of all US military service) Armistice Day and Decoration Day once represented the very genuine horrors of World War I and the Civil War, with the latter honoring Union servicemen in particular.

But then time passes, generations fade away, and we can’t very well have a holiday for every war. And so while enjoying your Memorial Day in whatever fashion you see fit, spare a moment for American soldiers who have died in all of the nation’s wars, and an extra moment for those who died in the Union cause in the Civil War.

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