Last night I came home in a weird mood...which is not necessarily the best time to blog. So if you happened to read a blog entry involving secret passwords that was posted for about ten hours but has since disappeared, you are not hallucinating. It was there, but in the bright light of day I thought better of it. So there it is, my first blog retraction.
Today is Memorial Day, a day to honor those who have defended our country and lost their lives while doing so. It will be filled with parades and heartfelt, somber speeches, and later there will be barbeques - a tradition whose origin has little to do with fallen heroes, but is uniquely American nonetheless. In every town across this great land of ours people (the ones who are still lucky enough to own their homes) will be congregating and doing what we Americans do best - eating. There will be hot dogs and hamburgers, chicken and potato salad. Children will be running around, and American flags will be waiving in more places than usual.
But despite all this fun and frolicking, and despite the grandeur, there will be those for whom the meaning of this holiday is not lost to gluttony and one day sales. There are those whose hearts are aching for the sons and daughters, husbands and wives, sisters and brothers they lost, and those whose futures are uncertain.
While I am a big fan of courage, bravery, and valor, I am not a big fan of war. I do not think war is noble, I think it is a waste of human potential. I think it caters to our baser instincts, while our higher ones lie dormant. I think the best way we can honor those whose sacrifice enable our current freedom is to find our way to peace. This is not some idealistic fantasy I have. Well, maybe given the current state of the world, it is, but I don't believe that those in past generations who lost their lives in battle did so so that future generations could lose their lives in battle too. I think they wanted something better. And so I think that the best way we can honor them is to actually do something better.
I think we owe it to ourselves and our children to look for an alternative to bombs and bloodshed. I think that it's important to sit down and genuinely listen to one another, even when we vehemently disagree. I think that the act of civility, even if it seems like we're pretending at it for a while, will bring about real civility. I think that we will never know true peace as long as war remains a viable option.
Yes, I'm doing the equivalent of singing Kumbaya around a campfire right now. But somebody needs to. Someone needs to think there should be a Memorial day in the future where no new names are added to the list of the fallen. And I'm that person. I think we should honor our military by keeping them alive.
However you choose to spend your Memorial Day, I hope you have a great one.
Peace and Blessings to you. Thanks for stopping by.