ELDER MUSIC: Telemann
What to Do With Your Ashes

Welcome to Summer

category_bug_journal2.gif Well, for friends in Australia, New Zealand and other places in the southern hemisphere, it's the beginning of winter. Nevertheless, where I live, today – Memorial Day – is the unofficial beginning of the summer season.

It's a three-day weekend in the United States and with all the family gatherings, backyard barbecues, beer and all, I wonder if sometimes we don't pay enough attention to what this holiday is for.

On Friday, Vice President Joe Biden spoke to a group of Gold Star Families - those who have lost a loved one in war. Poor ol' Joe is often chastised for speaking out of turn, of putting his foot in his mouth, of being a reliable gaffe machine. But not on this day.

Biden's extraordinary speech, in the words of MSNBC's Rachel Maddow, was "raw and emotional" and, I would add, personal and wrenching and true and good.

As far as I can find online on Saturday (when I am writing this), Maddow's show is the only place where Biden's speech was broadcast in full, if at all. Please watch. It's only about five minutes and you will be glad you did.

This video is also posted at The Elder Storytelling Place. The publication of daily stories from contributors will return there tomorrow.

Comments

Saw a bluebird on the bird bath this morning. A summer sighting, for sure!

That was wonderful.

Thank you.
We'll head out shortly to the Memorial Day observance in our small community. It's important to be there.

Very moving video of Joe Biden's speech, till he got to the point about the debt owed by the government to the families of injured and dead soldiers. No country, none at all, should be sending its young people out to kill and be killed. I respect Joe Biden, I respect the military families, but I do not respect a government that makes the decisions that make such speeches necessary.

This speech is from the heart. Joe Biden's speech could not have been any better. I'm so glad he talked about how people say "I know how you feel" after a terrible tragedy. It's clear from the audience reaction that saying that doesn't help. At all.

Sometimes Joe gets it right...

We owe such a debt to our military men and women and to their families, and if you haven't walked that mile, you truly cannot understand.

Thank you for the video Ronni.
I listened to someone sign off on a news program this morning by wishing everyone a "happy" Memorial Day.
I felt that was very inappropriate. I don't think I've ever heard that before and hope not to hear it again.

I saw a sound bite of Biden's speech on CNN.
Have a good holiday, everyone!Remember our troops and loved ones, on this day and every day.

I am very careful about ever telling another person, "I know how you feel." Such a statement often rings false.

My heart goes out to anyone who has lost a young person in war. What a terrible thing.

Two inches from the screen. That's how closely I listened to Joe Biden today.

If I could have reached into cyberspace, I'd have hugged him for a long time.

Wow. Thanks, Ronni!

Ronni - I listened to the Vice President's speech and was deeply touched - not only by his honesty and emotion but as a reflection of the respect and honour that the United States pays to its military personnel -
no one in their right mind wants war - but these young people go where their government send them and most truly believe they are protecting their homeland and for that they deserve the highest respect.

We've had periodic "summer" here in So Cal beginning in the winter this year, now through the spring. Wonder what we'll actually have when official summer arrives.

Tragic the lives lost because they were sent on others mission. Much to be said for the one who decides to start a battle also having to be the one at the front of the troops, but those days are past. Bet we might have a few less wars.

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