Memorial Day Tribute

I know this is a little off topic but I will try to tie in so, please read on.

There are no cultures on the earth that do not or have not celebrated the soldiers that have died in combat and served in armed forces to protect their country.  On Memorial Day every year we, as a country, continue to honor our fallen by celebrating the people that have served and given all to make sure that we have freedom.

In other societies and at other times, brave men and women have been celebrated by holidays, services and gatherings.  For instance, in Greece, the fallen and the survivors alike were adorned with medals, wreathes and other honorifics to show that the city-states cared for an admired their sacrifices and service.  In the Jewish traditions, heroes and soldiers are given the nod in poems and prose throughout the Bible.  These tales speak of their bravery and trust in God and how they parlayed that into helping protect the Hebrew people and expanding that particular empire.  And in all societies, we erect memorials and monuments.  Peoples throughout the ages have erected stone monuments on the sites of famous battles, named roads after fallen heroes and even renamed cities after those that have fought and won or fought and defended a country.

Here in America, Memorial Day started as a way for Freedmen (former African slaves) to celebrate the people that defended and fought for their freedom in the American Civil War.  From the late 1800s forward we have evolved the concept of a Memorial Day from its early form as Decoration Day – a day for making sure the graves of fallen soldiers were adorned with flags or flowers.  Memorial Day as we know it now is, at times, just an extra day off, a three day weekend, a day to show every war movie that John Wayne was ever in and of course for those of us in the Ren Faire community, a three day faire weekend.

Here is where I would like to tie it in.  The people that we celebrate on Memorial Day make the pastime that we all know and love, attending historical faires and festivals possible.  Without these people, it is possible that none of the faires we like and attend would take place.  Think about third-world countries, most of these have not had the armies to fight for their freedoms, they have not had the growth that comes from living in a free society (and please no debates on freedom or no freedom, just go with the thought process).  Now, am I suggesting that WWII was fought for the Ded Bob Sho?  No.  Am I suggesting that Barely Balanced would not have a place to perform without the people we celebrate on Memorial Day… indirectly, yes I am.  So, when you are in costume at the next faire you attend, when you are sitting at a walkway swilling mead, when you are sitting being entertained by the Nickel Shakespeare Girls… look around and see if you see someone there that was in the armed forces.  Go and tell them thank you.  Hug a veteran.  And maybe try to make everyday Memorial Day.