Archive for May, 2014

Memorial Day

Memorial Day.  In my “mind’s ear,” I hear the sound of gunfire, bombs, and artillery shells, underscored with shouts – first of orders, then of “Medic!” – all punctuated with screams, moans, and calls for “Mama!”  To me, Memorial Day is like Veterans Day, except that the honorees can’t hear you: they’re all dead, having given their lives so you might enjoy that grilled hamburger in peace with your family and friends.  Have you given them a single thought today?

Personally, the only relative I’ve found of whom it could be said they gave their life while in the service of their country was an umpteenth cousin thrice-removed who drowned in a swimming hole on base during the Korean War, and that took place in Texas.  But I consider “family” and “forebearers” all the Willies and Joes who fought and died so that neither I nor my English relatives nor my California cousins would grow up having to speak German or Japanese rather than American English.

So it was, while walking the dog this morning, having placed American flags along my driveway, at my mailbox, and in front of a neighbor’s house, that I was struck by the fact that nowhere else on our walk did I espy so much as one American flag on display for Memorial Day.  There was the sound of many lawnmowers, the smell of (meat) smokers fired up, even the smell of meat already grilling – but no indication that any of the celebrants were even slightly focused on the real reason for this holiday.

Another thought runs on an adjacent track in my mind:  How many “Christians” give thought to another who died for them as they celebrate their vacations from work, the sun, the food, the friends?



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