Happy Memorial Day!
Laren Stover says in The Bombshell Manual of Style (a kind of bible for me, naturally): “Veronica Lake . . . with her famous peekaboo bang, a swell of tamed curves that coyly threatened to cover one eye. Long, blonde and parted to the side, the peekaboo bang was so emulated that the War Department issued a warning to women working in factories during World War II about the hazard of getting it caught in machinery. Being patriotic, another Bombshell quality, Lake chopped hers off.”
I spent one Memorial Day at the USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor in Honolulu. The USS Arizona, our guide solemnly reminded us, is the final resting place for 1,102 of the 1,177 soldiers who were killed on December 7, 1941. Accessible only by boat, this memorial is visited annually by over one million people. My friend and I were incredibly moved by the silent boat ride, the quiet visit on the USS Arizona, and its remarkable museum. The tears in our eyes wreaked havoc with the copious amounts of sunblock we needed, making our eyes sting. Even when we weren’t choked up over some newly revealed detail of the memorial, we were wiping our eyes from the burning chemicals protecting us from sunburn.
Memorial Day used to be called Decoration Day, and originated after the American Civil War to commemorate the fallen Union soldiers. By the twentieth century, Memorial Day came to be known as a day to honor all those who have died in American wars.
So along with parades, backyard barbeques, and that extra day off, let’s take a moment to honor our fallen Americans, past and, sadly, present.