This Memorial Day, which falls on the 28th of May, we will honor the many men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice in military service to our country. Memorial Day was first created to honor northern soldiers who died in the Civil War. Then, it became a way to remember those who died in World War I, II and finally lives lost in all wars. In 1971, it became a federal holiday and remains the unofficial beginning of summer. As we gather to honor the memories of those lost, we are reminded again that war is, unequivocally, the lousiest option for settling disputes. Loved ones are gone and, in some instances, the wars and resentments remain…
As in years past, for Memorial Day, we will pause to salute and remember those brave souls who paid the ultimate sacrifice – they gave up their lives so the rest of us might live in peace with all the freedom and advantages that come with living under a system that upholds the democratic process. Each casualty of war or MIA leaves behind loved ones, family members, and memories of what could have been… How do we ever forget? How do we forget the pain and suffering inflicted on both the victor and the vanquished? As I’ve written in other posts, one side might claim victory, but the loss of life and the deepening resentments that come from warring creates animosity and a spirit of revenge. War is devastating and its scars are indelible. So when we raise our hands in salute to our heroes, let us raise our hands also in a gesture of peace…
“Each man is a hero and an oracle to somebody.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
To celebrate our fallen heroes, many of us will attend services, give thanks for our servicemen/women, join the parade, eat and reminisce about the lives of loved ones or strangers lost. On this day, we’ll also celebrate the lives of those who made it home; our sons, daughters, extended family and our friends in the forces. No matter how we choose to mark this occasion, whether our celebrations are boisterous or not, we must never forget that war is not the answer. Peaceful efforts should shape our daily interactions with each other as we all work together to mitigate the petty hatreds, greed, and missteps that lead us down the path to war. As a war survivor, my wish for all of us is that we stay committed to choosing peaceful options over those that glorify war. We must remain committed to PEACE as the preferred choice. Have a Peaceful Memorial Day! More below.