Memorial Day, which began as Decoration Day, is here again. Before it was a day off to goof off, or a day to shop the latest sales (do we truly need more stuff so urgently), or even a day to catch up on piles of laundry, it was set aside to remember the dead.
The entire day used to be set aside to travel to visit the graves of those who were "no longer with us." Flowers were placed upon the graves. At first, it was for Civil War dead. I understand this custom was started by those of the Southern states to mourn their dead, altho it was described as "War Between the States" by the more forgiving, or "War of Northern Aggression" by the never forgiving.
We have had too many wars since then. War solves nothing, except to encourage further hatred and additional war as further generations learn to desire revenge. War memorials never seem to require much consideration; funding peace is another matter.
We have our own veterans remembered here over the years, most of whom safely returned, or eventually settled, in our Outsidelands:
The Grant Brothers, Frank and Charles
The Quinns--Our JoAnne's father and brothers
My father, Steve Smyk
I can keep adding, but this is your cue to tell, and retell, your family stories. As long as we remember them, here and elsewhere, they are not forgotten.
Before you fire up the bar-b-que, or shop the latest sales, stop and remember those who died--usually horribly--to keep our lives going along.
Say, "Thank you." to their spirits. Even if you don't believe in an afterlife, I personally, some how, some way, they can hear you. Isn't that little enough, when you consider the price they paid? Pretend if you need, but take a second to appreciate how they made our present lives possible.
The next time someone glorifies war, gently ask if they have considered another solution. The next time someone cuts you off in traffic, swallow your rage. Remember, reacting with anger over something which won't matter hours, or minutes, or even seconds, later, is not worth anger which accomplishes nothing.
I used to be very competitive. I used to be angry over what, I realize now, did not matter. Type A behavior all the way, and, very immature as well. I feel so much better since I became more "laid back." I just wish the rest of the world realized how much better it is not to keep fighting all the time over everything, but we are fighting genetics, apparently.
Anyway remember those who died for us in battle. Perhaps, eventually, we will stop adding names to the lists of those who keep dying for noble causes which accomplish nothing.
Remember, don't forget, but work for peace.