Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Molly Marine

A little early to be thinking about Veterans' Day perhaps, but I don't get the day off so it doesn't seem like much of a holiday as much as a day to rue the fact that I don't work for the government.  That Veterans' Day is not a universally recognized holiday stirs up my bile and not just because I am a veteran who doesn't get a paid day off.

November 11 was originally Armistice Day, a day to celebrate the end of the War to End All Wars.  That didn't last long, obviously, but the day had a historic footprint.  Not that I'm against reserving a day to honor veterans but it seems to get lost in the slurry of other government holidays that aren't really observed.  Memorial Day is meant to honor the war dead but aside from members of the American Legion diligently placing flags on graves, you don't see much honor.  At least veterans have a better reputation are held in more esteem than when I was growing up.

They aren't all heroes and what they do is often the ugliest kind of work anyone would wish on another human being.  We should remember that.  It's not all all guts (courage) and glory.  It is just as often guts (entrails) and blood.  It is a profession I wish on no one no matter how vital it may be or pointless it may seem at its worst.

I don't speak from experience.  My time in the service, even during war time, was much like now.  I commuted to an office and typed for much of the day while staring at a computer screen.  Important work that needed to be done but not one requiring much sacrifice on my part.  This is why I dislike being perfunctorily thanked for serving my country as a veteran.  As Americans, we all serve our country in our own way just by being citizens.  We all free a marine to fight for good or ill, come what may.  This is what makes America great.  Even the bankers responsible for the current recession are add to the nation. What doesn't kill us will make us stronger (In God We Trust).
The statue of Molly Marine stands on Canal Street in the neutral ground that bisects Elk Place, a one block street named after an Elks Lodge of which there's no trace beyond the lingering name.  The neutral ground is also home to a walkway with commemorative plaques that are falling apart from the nation's bicentennial (1976, for those who don't know).  There is also a statue of a head lying on its side that was moved here from the 1984 New Orleans World's Fair, for those who remember that.

That's enough musing for one day.  I have to run.  I am meeting someone in the French Quarter for a nip and a bite before heading out to catch a show.  I can see her anxiously awaiting my arrival now....

You wouldn't want me to keep Mrs. King waiting too long now, would you?

Have a good night, and don't do anything I wouldn't do.
With a handshake,

PS: It's been awhile since I plugged an Amazon product.  Give this a try.  There's no doubting where this patriot stands:

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