Sunday, May 27, 2012

Memorial Day

Happy Memorial Day.

I hope it is filled with friends, family, and food.  And, I hope you take a bit of time to remember the Service Members who have died in service to your country.

How should we remember?  I am not sure.  So often we just eat.  Which is a great way to celebrate the fallen; by being with the living. 
And why do we celebrate those who participated in war?  I am not naive enough anymore to boil it down to we are the good guys and they are the bad guys so we celebrate the good guys who fought and sacrificed their life for us.
And, let us not forget that not everyone who has fallen, wanted to be there ... we were not always gifted with an all-volunteer force.  Some sacrificed because they had to.  Did they sacrifice or were they sacrificed?

Today we took our kids to the Siegfried Line.  It was Nazi Germany's counter to the French Maginot Line.  We were careful to say "enemy forces" and not bad guys when talking about the invaders ... after all, that was the Americans... my grandparent's generation.  I have no problem calling Nazi's bad guys but, when in Germany as a guest, I don't want to be so simple or rude when referring to their grandparents that way.

I think it was a good start to a conversation about honoring those that served.  Abi asked some very thoughtful questions.  Ones to which I have few good answers.  But answers I did give can be summed up in this:

War is always terrible.  Even when there is a clear good and bad side.  But, too often we fight wars for reasons and in ways that are bad all around.  We want to honor those who have sacrificed for us.  But we also do not want to glorify war.

Please in your time you take to honor the fallen,  honor their memory, their sacrifice, and take care to not glorify the situation that made it necessary.  In your time, resolve to do something that would make future sacrifices less necessary.  Give to an organization that promotes prosperity, not poverty; peace, not violence; love not war.

Thank you.

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