Thursday, August 30, 2007
Labor Day is Memorial Day
I’ll explain the picture in a moment. There’s still a little kid inside of me that dreads Labor Day. That’s because it always meant the start of another school year. However now it signals the end of summer, which is far too brief.
For years I always got my holidays confused, Labor Day and Memorial Day, not sure which unofficially started and ended summer. I’d actually like to see them switched. It doesn’t’ seem right that we pay tribute to our workers with a day off and then send them back, to begin the final leg of the year. I do enjoy the tribute to our veterans on Memorial Day, but some how feel it would be more appropriate towards the end of summer.
This year it feels a little more like Memorial Day around Labor Day because we recently lost a Fond du Lac area soldier in the war in Iraq. Captain Derek Dobogai was one of 14 soldiers killed in a helicopter crash in northern Iraq. I didn’t know him, but have spoken to a couple of his acquaintances including one of his best friends Adam Mueller. He has my sympathy.
No matter how you feel about the war you have to admire those who are willing to put their lives on the line. You know it’s interesting how we view war and how those who serve in wars do.
One of my first jobs out of college was as a dispatcher for the public safety department in my hometown of Manistique, Michigan. A majority of the police officers I worked with had military service. Most had served in Vietnam, one in Korea. They didn’t talk openly about their experiences. If they did it was in passing. One of the officers, who doubled as an EMT, was a medic in the Korean War. Another, who served in Vietnam, tried to make a joke of it when he talked about his experiences. It usually came off as nervous and awkward. If they wanted to talk about it they would.
A couple of my friends went into the military. One drowned in a training accident. Another became a first-rate soldier. I didn’t lose any friends or relatives that I know of to war. I’m lucky that way, so far. My two nephews are 9 and 12 years old this year. I hope if they ever have to serve in the military they come through unscathed.
For Derek Dobogai’s family Labor Day is Memorial Day. His funeral service is on Monday.
If you’d like to sign his guest book here’s the address: