Memorial Day, an important reminder of the sacrifice of our fore bearers in defending the United States, is another holiday that has become overwhelmed by our self indulgence and loss of historical perspective. Memorial Day is not memorializing the start of the summer bar-b-que season. It is a holiday to remember the dead of the Civil War (and later wars). It's purpose is to remind us of the terrible sacrifice made many generations ago to preserve the Union and destroy the special institution of slavery. Over 600,000 Americans died in the bloodiest war in our history. There was not a place that wasn't touched by the carnage. Whole towns and counties lost all of their mature men. The 1st Minnesota, from the far frontiers of the Union, suffered 82% casualties at Gettysburg. Thousands of wounded and maimed men returned home to pick up their lives after their comrades "Died to Make Men Free".
Mother Nature had a surprise of this generation of Minnesotans yesterday. A killer tornado struck east of my spot on the tundra. We had big winds and hail. The splashes in the lake are strikes from meteor like hailstones. It was sunny and calm 30 minutes later. So much for the theater of seasons.