ten people what Memorial Day is about and you'll probably receive
ten different responses. Mentioned are claims of "recognizing
those who have served and fallen in defense or service to their
country," "identifying patriots who unselfishly answered
the call," and "acknowledging the heroes of battle."
A common theme encountered in the discussion is remembrance.
But, what else should be remembered? Are there not other aspects
of war that need remembering?
of perpetual conflict, the schemers and tacticians who design the
strategy, chart the acts of aggression, and lay the blueprints for
the plague of nationhood that infects the innate free spirit of
men, disrupts the natural order of peaceful
exchange and fuels the slavish obedience to political orders;
regardless their legality
the irresponsible who jump at the opportunity for conflict, forgetting
reason, composure, and diplomacy. Remember how they delegate to
the duty to lead the engagement.
of War who profit from this heinous spectacle- those who gain
power and tarnished wealth. Watch them flaunt their booty paid for
with the bloody currency of children
not their own.
who urge on "their" warriors with shouts of jingoistic
fervor; yet refuse or find it unnecessary to give up their
comfort of state side security.
those who have witnessed, first hand, the horror of battle and tasted
the acrid flavor of war's experience.
those who discover an epiphany, a life changing understanding that
war is not the glorious adventure of Hollywood imagery, not the
youthful pastime of an entertaining video game.
those of this group who then fail to warn others of this newfound
knowledge, who fail to convince compatriots of the needless sacrifice
and stolen innocence.
those on the sidelines who do not obey their conscience to speak
out against the carnage, who hold their tongues through shyness
or cowardice; who stand by silent as family, friends, and neighbors
are whisked off to their inevitable doom.
the children who witness war and its atrocities. Remember the confusion
within young minds told killing is wrong, than struggle to comprehend
the exception of war.
their bewilderment when told to accept the killing of strangers
that have done them no harm.
the irreconcilable conflict within the hearts of Christians whose
testament instruct "love your enemies, do good to those who
hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat
you." and "If someone strikes you on one cheek, turn to
him the other also (Luke 6:27–29)" Remember their befuddlement
when finding serving their state (be it the U.S.A and/or Israel)
requires disregarding these principles. Remember the ideological
clash when told serving their "country" preempts faithfulness
to their God.
the broken bodies and shattered psyches, still with us to remind
us of war's human cost. Remember the lost potential, the dashed
dreams, the oceans of shed tears, the newly discovered war against
desperation and hopelessness.
remember the fallen, the dead. Visit their resting places with solemn
respect. Make note of their obscenely abundant and escalating numbers.
that each grave has a face, a story, a soul represented by that
slab of coldly etched stone or weathered cross.
remember the graves throughout the world without adornment of a
marker- a name, an individual, sentenced to a burial of eternal
anonymity. Don't the numbers now grow exponentially? Some were enemies,
some were allies. Remember they also once walked the earth as those
you honor. Remember they also aspired to a life of peaceful contentment,
though driven by a different philosophy or creed as a means to obtain
how, when living, all sides were compelled by opposing views of
righteousness but now all are colleagues in death.
not only grieve for their loss but remember the lies and liars that