Summer vacation season officially arrives on Memorial Day weekend. The flags are up on the utility poles along Highway 59, and tourists cover the white sand, two or three families deep.
Lest we forget the patriotic significance of Memorial Day, the holiday was established in 1868 to remember those who had died in military service.
Fifty years ago, you could distinguish many veterans from the average civilian not by their high and tight haircuts but by their tattoos. Flags, anchors, hearts and hula dancers decorated muscular bodies.
Every branch of the military now discourages visible tattoos. They’re too often linked with prison stints and gang membership. But there’s no shortage of inked skin. A walk on the beach presents a show of young men and women sporting oversized and complex multicolored tatts.
Society changes. But our dependence on a committed military force still exists. So if you see someone without a tattoo, thank them for their service.