More than just a day off, a long weekend, but that, is what we’d interpreted these memorial holidays as, an extra day off from work, an extra day off from school, without KNOWING where these memorial holidays’ origins, we are bound to repeat the same mistakes of history over, over, over, and over again! Translated…
“I don’t know what to say to you! We’d been dating three years, you never recalled my birthday correctly……”, received that text from a former boyfriend of mine, whose birthday I couldn’t remember the exact date, but recalled the sign he was born in, as he’d responded to my birthday wish that came a bit, too, early for him. I’d made fun of myself, “at least, I know it’s, this month, I just forgot what day it was, so long as my heart’s there, right?”, he’d sent me an icon with the character’s eyes rolling to the back of the head then, with, “You hadn’t changed one bit. Yeah, just as well, at least, we don’t get bogged down by memorizing all those, first time we’d shared something.”, I could feel his upset, through reading the words he’d typed, based off of what he’d told me, he was in a “cold war” with his wife, because he’d forgotten to prepare an anniversary present for her.
Being a workaholic, that can’t even recall her own birthday, the red on the calendar to me meant, “days I won’t have work”: and every time the red came, most of the public offices are closed, and, Friday evenings were the deadlines to mail out an assortments of packages. While what reminded of the holidays, were the streets’ decors, the shops windows, the websites’ reminders, and, other than the New Year’s, Memorial Day, Dragon Boat Festival, Mid-Autumn, and some other traditional holidays, along with all those other days, Father’s Day, Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day, Teachers’ Day, we all need to, show our, appreciations. Taking it internationally, Christmases, to the digits of the shopping holidays………holidays, birthdays, memorials, special occasions, they’d all, meshed together into a huge blur, the meanings of these occasions seemed to have gotten, diluted down, becoming, an excuse for justifiable, spending, a day off, or a reason to party hard.
And yet, in all those celebratory occasions, there were the days labeled as “Memorial Days”, that had a depth of meaning, the red on the calendars became like that scab that’s was originally an wide open wound, labeling the common pains, it’d made me extremely careful, as I’d, touched based, like I was, touching that brand new layer of skin that just, grew back from my injuries, for instance, the February 28th Peace Memorial.
During the holidays, the families gathered, to explain to my elementary age niece why she didn’t have school on the last day of February, I’d looked up the definition of a “Memorial holiday”, the Chinese dictionary defined it as: “a day which was meaningful, a day worth remembering”. While February 28th in Wikipedia was noted as “to memorialized what had happened on February 28th in 1947, the day was noted as a memorial holiday in 1995, as a national holiday”. What conflicts had happened historically on today, where did it happen, who did it, involve, and, what had the country weathered, to get to the peaceful state it is currently in, for it to “evolve” into the RED “holiday”? This history that can’t be told in a few words, I couldn’t, tell my niece using the “For Dummies” version; but, I’d given a history lesson, to their parents born in the eighties, on democracy.
What people cared more about, on these memorial holidays today, is how many days off do we get extra? How do you schedule our trips abroad? In the years of peace that we now have, we’d, forgotten how hard those who came before had walked the paths. And, as the meaningful memorial days became reduced to a page that gets torn off from a thick calendar, peace then became, nothing more, than a tiny little, blessing to the people, and we, who are living, growing on this land, how many stories can we, pass, to the next generations, to come?
To a young seven-year-old girl, the incident on February 28th, and the White Terror, may be a PG-13 horror film, it’s also, a memorial day that’s, way too, heavyset; but, if we can have the respects for those who’d died, through the historical researches, find more records on the events, to get a multivariate angle of the historical tale, to guide the younger generation to learn to respect those who aren’t like us in race, sex, viewpoints, and experiences in life, to help them gain the ability to empathize, to experience the pains of others, I’m certain, that this sort of a memorial day will leave a deeper impression than all the fireworks, and it’d helped us look forward to the future of progressions in democracy too.
And so, this is on how those days which are labeled as “national holidays”, became nothing MORE than just those long-weekends, days off from work and school to the people in the world these days, because we lacked the knowledge base of what’d happened on these occasions in history, because, history are no longer important, as governments in the world’s countries are now, trying to, ERASE the pasts for the people, and because the people are less educated about where they came from (not physically!), they would not have a single clue of where they’re going, and they’d be more inclined, to follow a leader (which is usually a bad one!), to hell, to repeating the same mistakes of those who came before, and, we’re all, trapped, inside those, vicious cycle, because the government does NOT educate us.
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