Memorial Day Musings

By | Monday, May 28, 2007 Leave a Comment
The last Monday in May is Memorial Day for those of us here in the U.S. It's a federal holdiay meant to show honor and respect for those who've died in military service. When I was kid, and didn't know any better, it was just a day off from school. Today, as an adult who does know better, it's... really just a day off from work.

Don't get me wrong here, I have nothing but the utmost respect for someone who's willing to fight and die to uphold their beliefs. And I'm quite saddened by the loss of so many soliders fighting in Iraq and Afghanastan the past several years. But it ends up being just a day off from work for me because I personally have never really known anyone who's died in service to their country. The last family member, in fact, to have served in the military at all was my grandfather on my mother's side and he was stationed a fair ways away from the fighting during World War II. (Largely due to his being an insubordinate S.O.B.) He died in a nursing home decades later.

Why bring this up on a comic book blog, you may ask?

Well, since I never really knew anyone ensconced in military life, most of my knowledge of the military comes from the comic book industry. Sure, there's the old Nick Fury and Sgt. Rock stories, but there's also some less fictional accounts such as Will Eisner's Last Day in Vietnam. I've also gotten a bit from histories of comic book creators who have served in the armed forces. Jack Kirby, Mike Ploog, Wally Wood, Malcolm Wheeler-Nicholson, Larry Hama and many other names throughout comics history have served in some capacity. (And look these guys up if you don't know who they are!)

So if you don't have someone you personally lost in their service to the military, take a moment to remember some of the people who's lives DID affect you through their writing and drawing and whose work was influenced at least somewhat by their stints in the armed forces.
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