Memorial Day is a time we can stop and remember those who sacrificed in the armed forces. It is also a day when we remember our loved ones who are no longer with us. It may be a good time to reflect on the way we remember those who came before, and those who have sacrificed so much.
We tend to have a bad habit of naming things after individuals, glorifying the person instead of the accomplishment. And while I stand humble before anyone who served in the military, I have to ask why we only glorify people who fight in wars or prepare to be killed for their country. While extremely noble, is it more noble than the mother who cooks for her family? Or the father who works long hours and misses watching his children grow up? How noble is it to live in a place where you cannot make a living wage yet you struggle to provide even when you are bone tired and see no point in trying anymore? And yet, we don't name one bridge after a single mom who did her level best to raise kids in a world with all the odds stacked against her.
We like popular people, people who get noticed, people who do big things. And we name things after these people, setting up an expectation that if you didn't get something named after you, if you weren't remembered for something special, then you're just not special at all.
Well, I say that's bullshit. We need to remember those who sacrifice, which is to say just about every one of us, and use Memorial Day as a day to say, "Hey, thank you for all you do for us!" and listen to others tell us, "Thanks for all you do, too!" Honor the act, not the individual. We not only set ourselves up for the idea of "special people" we set ourselves up for popular people to control our lives. This is the underlying definition of fascism; popular leaders who have us focus not on the deeds they do but on who they are, as "special" people worthy of praise, adulation, and having buildings named after them.
So here's what I say; I say take all those names off those bridges and building and streets. We should have a "Teacher who bought supplies for class" Avenue, or a "Voted for Equal Rights Amendment" Bridge. Maybe a "Coached Little League Ball" memorial building, "Was Nice Every Day of Their Life" fountain. Remember the deed, not the person. We should be humble enough to know that we don't really do anything special, we're just lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time and do the right thing, when something special happens.
If we want a free and equal society, the thing we keep saying we want, we had better stop naming things after people and start looking at the deed instead of the individual. Otherwise, we're going to end up with a popular leader who takes advantage of all of us.
the Anarchy Chronicles