There is a segment of our population in the United States that does not receive their due acknowledgment and respect on a regular basis. I'm not talking about some disaffected social class or an obscure party, I'm talking about our veterans. Citing the famous creed of couriers in the ancient Persian Empire: "Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds." The same and more can be said for those who have served our country in some military capacity. However, these men are delivering a lot more than mere postage. What the US soldier offers is freedom, justice, and security. If it were not for our military we might very well live in a totalitarian state run by the Nazis. If it were not for our military, much of New York City's skyline would be demolished. If it were not for our military we would not enjoy the amazing economic prosperity and opportunity that we do abroad. We owe these valiant public servants an enormous debt of gratitude for selflessly giving of their time, talents, and often lives for the safety and liberty of this nation.
That being said, I wanted to promote a cause that I find not only admirable, but wholesome, worthwhile, and fun. Here's the press release for this year's National Memorial Day Parade:
"NATIONAL MEMORIAL DAY PARADE IN DC MAY 25TH
DC SCHOOL MARCHING BANDS, GARY SINISE, MILITARY BANDS,
ERNEST BORGNINE, LEE GREENWOOD
WASHINGTON, DC -- The National Memorial Day Parade presented by the American Veterans Center will take place Monday, May 25, 2009 at 2:00 PM Constitution Avenue between 7th and 17th Streets NW.
Join more than 250,000 Americans in honoring those who have served and sacrificed in the fifth annual National Memorial Day Parade. Marching bands, veterans units, and uniformed military personnel from around the country will march down Constitution Avenue in the largest Memorial Day parade in the nation. The parade will feature a special tribute to the U.S. Navy, and include Navy vet and Oscar winner Ernest Borgnine, fellow actors and veterans' supporters Gary Sinise and Joe Mantegna, and music star Lee Greenwood. Also participating is Edith Shain, the nurse from the famous World War II “V-J Day in Times Square” kiss photograph. For more information, visit www.nationalmemorialdayparade.com.
For nearly 70 years, Washington, DC—our nation’s capital and headquarters of our military—was without a parade on the Armed Services’ most sacred day. In 2005, the American Veterans Center decided to bring this great tradition back to the nation’s capital by creating the National Memorial Day Parade. While each war and each branch of the military is honored in full, each year the parade highlights one branch of the military. The 2009 National Memorial Day Parade will have a special focus on the Navy, with distinguished Navy personnel throughout, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff ADM Michael Mullen as reviewing officer. The parade will be televised live to our service members around the world on The Pentagon Channel and locally on NewsChannel 8."
I urge all those who can attend to do so. Remember it's on the 25th of May at 2:00pm. It will be a great event for friends and family.
Here's a clip from Gary Sinise thanking the troops:
And another covering last year's parade and Mr. Sinise's thoughts:
You do realize that when I post a youtube clip or something from hulu it is because I have so much good material that I just can't decide what to write, right? That's correct. I am not lazy, or being uninventive. I have tons of great stuff coming for you. But, before all that, youtube is going to do its job.
Some of you may think you remember a time when people could walk around on sidewalks, go shopping, jogging, etc. without fear of reprisal. Well, that was a dream. Pedestrians are an endangered species.
Case in point: "There I was, walking along taking in the scenery on a beautiful spring day when all of a sudden I hear 'On your left' and then blacked out. I woke up in a puddle of my own blood on the sidewalk. Gawkers and rubberneckers abounded. Turns out it wasn't blood. It was my slurpee. Even worse. Why did I black out? It was a cyclist."
This story comes from Ben Frinetti of Georgetown, DC. As you can see, pedestrians' turf is being encroached upon. And, even worse, their slurpees are under attack. This is inexcusable. Why in the world does a cyclist need to use the sidewalk? Last time I checked it wasn't even legal, but only tacitly allowed. Remember all those 'Share the road' bumper stickers cyclists used to have on their cars? Yes. That is correct. Cyclists use the same road as cars. That means the pedestrians get the sidewalk. Novel concept I know. Maybe it's only going to happen in a dream world. Or....
I could start the Pedestrian Patrol of America or PPA for short. I could hand out tickets to cyclists using sidewalks. Not only would I make a couple extra bucks, but maybe, just maybe I could make a difference. I could start up the PPA academy, get federal funding from the Obama Administration, and maybe even inspire a series of comedy films. Maybe Kevin James would be interested in playing a role. Everyone in the PPA would be guaranteed a segway equipped with two huge canisters of NOS. We're talking pimped out segways with flames on the sides, super shocks and armed with tasers, pepper spray and rubber riot bullets.
Perfect. Let me know if you're interested.
Wait a second. Maybe this issue is deeper than I thought:
That was me before the PPA let me live again (above)
Robin fell and the man on the ledge died because the PPA was not in his city:
As some of you know, I am no longer in Utah. One boon to come from this move is that now when I get invites to random parties and events in and around Utah on facebook I can unhesitatingly decline without feeling the least bit of remorse. This has been the case for any events I was invited to by friends in New England for the past couple of years, but now it is true of Utah. Unless the event is held in cyberspace, Brazil, Hawaii, or some other place I actually have an interest in visiting I probably won't be there. Speaking of which I wanted to invite you all to my latest event:
Party in Brazo-Hawaiian Cyberspace!
When: Right now
Why: Shut up
Food: Will be delicious
Who: Everyone. Even dead people and zombies
Tag Line: Because she'll only turn 21 once...
RSVP: Yes or No. If you say "maybe," you're not coming.
This wormhole in cyberspace will take you to:
This beach. And this is where we're having the party.
This mother's day, just like every past one everyone out there (at least in the US) is grateful and gushing for their mom. Some are just kind and appreciative. Others are more hard core. They brag and say things like: "My mom is the best in the world." Not bold enough I say. Because, truth be told, my mom is the best in the world, hands down. But she's better than that. She deserves more than the accolades of this world. My mom is the greatest mom in the universe (parallel or otherwise existing). This judgment is not subjective. Sorry other moms.
Here's where you want a pedigree or a list of what makes her great. I don't think that is necessary. Just bottle up all the best characteristics that humanity can provide and put them together and there you go. She's never led my astray and her love and kindness are unwavering beacons. She is always serving, always loving, and finding ways to improve herself and the lives of others. I find no fault in her.
Mom, I hope you liked the flowers, chocolate, breakfast and the past quarter century as my mom. I know I can be a handful. But would you have wanted anything less?
Michael Powers is a fairly cultured American with an eye for seriousness, but willing to entertain the occasional dabble into the surreal and the inane. His writing focuses on news, random stories, politics, and social issues with his own brand of cynicism, but always with a humorous or optimistic outlook.