In Memoriam

26 May

I am relaxing on this Memorial Day morning. I have little that I have to accomplish today. But, more than that, I want on this Memorial Day to take time to “celebrate” the holiday. Today is set aside to remember those who have died while in military service.

So often in my mind the military gets lumped in with the political maneuvering of those in power. Or, the complete waste of war and the powerless who are caught in its destruction.

Yet, in our country we are asked to re-member, to reconstruct, what it means that there are people we have commanded to die in service to our country. I always think of this as our request, since we are the people who have voted representatives in our government to act on our behalf. (If you haven’t voted lately think about those who sacrificed their lives and maybe you can give up a little time and energy to get it done.)

So, if we are to think about those who have died, here are same facts. Memorial Day began as Declaration Day to give honor to those who died during the Civil War – close to 2% of the population – 625,000. In World War II – the generation that sacrificed much to end that war saw 405,399 people die. In World War I it was a smaller number – 116,516 – but to those who lost loved one, the number is not important.

Today we still have military women and men willing fighting in deadly situations. So far, 6717 people have died in the “War on Terror”. And around the world there are those who continue to grab for power and resources without regard for laws or people. Are we the world’s police force?

I have never found any easy answers in my life. But, today I can remember those who have died. Soldiers who were good people and not so good people; Soldiers who commanded and those who followed the commands; Soldiers who understood the cause they were fighting for and those who just showed up to fight. Today I don’t have to consider the ambiguity of why these men and women were being killed, or even the stupidity and waste of war. Today, I am just grateful that in each generation there have been those who stood in harms way for our country and that I can write whatever I want in this blog because of their sacrifice.

I pray God’s blessing on their souls and for peace for those who loved them.

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