May 30, 2005

The Memorial Day File


I’m sure I’m not the only one who does a double take whenever a politician or a broadcaster mentions that we are “at war.”

I understand the President is at war.  The military is at war.  Certain military towns and military families are at war.  Defense contractors are at war.  For others of us though, this “war time” Memorial Day is indicated only by such signs as the NYT Magazine  cover story about a website for mothers with children fighting in Iraq. 

This is an AP photo that YahooNews posted earlier this week in commemoration of Memorial Day.  Taken by Denis Poroy (whose work has previously appeared on the BAG), this shot shows a Marine Corp Corporal and his wife looking back at a makeshift memorial on the beach in Oceanside, California.

If you didn’t know these folks were military, or that Oceanside was a military town, or that this was a photo from the file, you might think this image signified a greater public awareness of the war we’re in.  The reality, though, is that beyond towns like Oceanside, most people will mark this day without reflection, and with a much more conventional use of the beer cup.

(image: Denis Poroy/AP in YahooNews)

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Michael Shaw
See other posts by Michael here.

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