Why do we call today Memorial Day and not, say, Throw Another Limb on the Barbie Day? Because its purpose is to commemorate the soldiers who died for this country. That’s why.

That statement is a remedial civics lesson for idiots, but unfortunately it seems necessary. I heard some moron DJ on the radio today encouraging his audience to remember the troops who fought for our freedom to barbecue. I hope he was just inarticulate and that his rambling was merely a sort of Bushism minus the Midland drawl (or daddy’s Yankee cadence). I fear that he earnestly meant what he implied, i.e., that the right to cook meat on an outdoor grill is one of our most important rights as a nation and one that our enemies have actually imperiled. When he thought of why our troops have fought and died, he didn’t mention the Constitution, or the Taliban or Saddam Hussein or Imperial Japan or the Redcoats, or even some hilltop in Afghanistan or Vietnam that was of no strategic value but that the Marines were ready to defend down to the last member of the Corps because other Marines had died there. No, this idiot thought of barbecued meat.

Al Qaeda didn’t repeatedly attack the US on account of a fatwa against outdoor grilling. Imperial Japan wasn’t interested in putting us on a strict yakisoba diet. King George III and Parliament didn’t give a damn what we ate as long as we paid our taxes on it. It isn’t clear how many Americans realize these things.

Is this truly how we define our freedom as Americans? God help us. Such a people is incapable of self-governance.

If you give a damn about this country, instead of just stuffing your trap with hamburgers all day today, give some thought to the men and women who have died in our armed forces. Give some thought to George Washington’s troops enduring a winter of frostbite and malnutrition at Valley Forge. Give some thought to the hundreds of thousands of Civil War troops who died of preventable diseases in squalid encampments. Maybe watch “Saving Private Ryan.” Take a look at the Bill of Rights if you have a copy handy. If your smart phone has 3G capability, you have a copy handy; the Internet is for more than just pornography and videos of simian monkeys riding house cats around the living room.

These are just some suggestions. There are other ways not to be a vulgar dipshit about a solemn holiday commemorating our war dead. Just consider showing some fucking gratitude while you stuff another hot dog down your pie hole. Someone has to show some gratitude if we want to still have a country that’s worth defending.

Yes, I’ve used a harsh tone, but some of the idiocy on the public airwaves this weekend suggests that we need a wake-up kick in the national balls.

If you’re on military duty this Memorial Day, thank you for your service. I mean it. Stay safe if you can.