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It’s Memorial Day weekend. Shopping, celebrating, remembering, going to the beach. What will you be doing this weekend?

We just arrived home from a block party at our daughter’s house. She lives on a small cul-de-sac with 6 houses, and 5 of them have children of similar ages. They all get along wonderfully, and are often spend time outside together with the children. Tonight was kind of an impromptu party — I think they just decided earlier in the day to get together for a barbecue. Everybody brought something, and the people who ended up grilling in their driveway had lots of things out for the kids to play with, so both the parents and grandparents were happy and relaxed. We weren’t aware it would be a block party when we arrived for what we thought would be a cookout with them, but it was a pleasant surprise — everyone was so nice.

Everybody was normal — I like that. They’re regular people doing their jobs daily, raising their children well, most going to church on Sunday, and mowing their lawns on the weekend. Much of America is like that — these are the kind of people who used to be the majority in America — now they’re the ones who are footing ever-increasing costs for living in the United States, higher taxes for an overblown bureaucracy, supporting people who will not or cannot work, who don’t take care of their kids, who don’t build loving families, and who don’t have a lawn to mow, let alone owning a house. One woman is having a baby in about 3 weeks, and the costs for this birth, as opposed to her first, will be considerably more expensive — she and her husband don’t even know at this point how much it will all cost, because of the changes in their healthcare — the Affordable Care Act.

These people, like many across the country, love their country, are thankful the fearless service of our veterans and troops currently serving, but are increasingly uncomfortable with the direction this country is moving.

Tonight I watched the Memorial Day Concert on PBS. l love the patriotism, the caring, the respect that’s shown to the members of the armed services who have been fighting on hostile foreign soil for causes that are impossible to win. and people who seem unable to adopt the ideal of democracy . Many have given their lives or have been severely injured fighting to keep the United States strong, to defend its principles, its way of life, and its stand on human rights. Meanwhile on the political side, they are being poorly defended at home — the VA is in shambles when it is needed most, military pay and benefits are being cut as is the budget, and numbers are being reduced. Some of the victories our men and women achieved abroad, are being allowed erode and regress.

This Memorial Day I’m thinking more about the military than I usually do. I wondering how the future will play out. I am uncomfortable with not having a strong, respected military — one that is well-funded, well-trained, and has a commander-in-chief who respects the role the military plays in a well-formed diplomatic strategy.