US Memorial Day 2017


I’m a pacifist. I don’t like violence. I hate war. But the world is not a perfect place. And we ask some among us, usually by the way those seeking escape from disadvantage, to man (and ‘woman’) the ramparts, and keep us safe at night.

I do not honor war. But I do salute those who do the job I wouldn’t choose to do. I recall those who die doing that job. And I remember the families and friends left behind, for whom the grieving never ends.

And that is where, probably, I should leave it. And yet, this year. This US Memorial Day. I want to share some other thoughts. Some other questions.

Do we spare a thought for those who make the decisions to go to war? Those who make the decisions, in the almost certain knowledge that it will never be they who die? Not them, nor their children?

Do we spare a thought for those among us who believed in the last US Presidential election that they might finally be choosing someone who wanted to bring the troops home, over someone who wanted to fight more ‘righteous’ wars, with other people’s children?

Do we spare a moment to wonder what those voters must be thinking, now that their hopes appear once more to be dashed? Do we have anything to offer them by way of succor, or hope for the future?

Is it permissible today to spare a thought for those who die fighting wars for other nations, besides the United States? For those who die fighting the same wars, but on the other side? Having been told that their cause is just as righteous as ours?

Am I allowed to spare a thought for the heroes among us, who die courageously, attempting peacefully to resolve the differences we create for ourselves, in the hope that war can be avoided?

And finally, do any of us take the time today to memorialize those who die when our wars come home to roost?

Published in: on June 5, 2017 at 12:18 pm  Leave a Comment  

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