images-72.jpegIt’s Memorial Day weekend.

Here in my little New England state – and, I suspect, in most of the rest of the country – that means several things.  It means cook-outs and beer.  It means yard work and yard sales.  It means a Monday “off”; no mail delivery, no school, no trash collection.  It means parades and community pot-luck dinners and flags and geraniums and the Star Spangled Banner.

What I wonder, though, is what does it mean?

How do we go about honoring the war dead in a way that is good and true and right?  How do we remember and value the service and sacrifice on the one hand, and deplore the mechanisms in the world that make those things necessary on the other?  How do we reconcile a hatred for war with a love and respect for those who are asked to wage it?  Perhaps even harder, how do we admire and remember those who deserve the esteem, who behaved honorably while fulfilling their duties, while not allowing that admiration to fall on those who don’t?

Finally, how do we turn that respect and recognition we’re compelled to give into actions that may make it possible that we may, in the future, have fewer and fewer war dead to commemorate?



Filed under admiration, celebration, memorials, ruminating, social issues

3 responses to “Musing

  1. How do we honor the war dead? One good way was to prove we really appreciate the sacrifices they made by not doing war any more. That’s my suggestion.
    I was lucky, I came home (from a completely stupid, useless, murderous war where we were the bad guys).
    Yeah, let’s quit doing war.

  2. One good way was to prove we really appreciate the sacrifices they made by not doing war any more. That’s my suggestion.
    That’s what I was getting at, too, Gerry.
    Happy Memorial Day. I’m glad you made it home.

  3. Well, until I was 18 I honored the dead by dressing up in scratchy wool uniforms and walking to every cemetary within a 5 mile radius and playing the Star Spangled banner. Now, though, we could perhaps send some thank yous with that girl who is on the commercial. I can’t remember the name of her initiative but it might be 1000 Thanks or maybe a million. A thoughtful letter to one’s congressman might not be a bad idea either. And drink American beer at your cookout. 🙂

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