What is Memorial Day?
It is a day in honor of those men and women who served The United States of America in military service and are no longer with us. It is a day of remembrance.
People take this extra time to go to Memorial Day parades. People will visit the graves of relatives and friends. There are gatherings and celebrations.
At the parades, veterans and local mayors make speeches. Priests and ministers say prayers.
The words we hear most often are words of thanks to these people who fought and died in battle to help preserve our freedom. Just think of the hundreds of thousands of young men who took to the uniform in service of The United States of America. They gave of themselves the most one can give.
It is important we recognize this. Young people full of potential, talent, and promise saw what may have been long, fulfilling lives cut short with a horrible end. This is reality, and to be true to these people we must face it.
We must honor these people by deeply understanding this.
On Memorial Day we should give pause and contemplate all of the sons, daughters, fathers and mothers who came to this very sad end in war.
Each Memorial Day we should remind ourselves how precious each and every life is and how sad it is that these lives were lost.
We should remind ourselves that war is hell. War is mass violence, death, and destruction. War is piles of young men buried in unfit shallow graves. War is men suffering horrific violence and mental anguish. War is young men making a friend, and then seeing that friend die in unbearable pain. War is often innocent people gathered in their homes with family praying that as the bombs fall like rain from the sky that their family won’t suffer the end those bombs intend. Indeed, war is hell.
And so, on Memorial Day we should remember these things and get the heavy, uneasy feeling of sorrow and loss in our gut.
What could have been of these men and women?
What could have come of their lives?
Was the inventor of a great technology among them?
Did we lose a valuable cure to an illness?
Did we lose great works of writing or music that would have made our lives happier?
How many lessons could have been taught to the children of these men and women?
How many moments of love, joy and purpose did the world miss out on?
We should honor and remember those people who lost their lives by having right minds and right hearts. We should never send people to war lightly. No life should be lost in war unless it is in defense of our liberty and our very lives.
No person should suffer this hell for a matter of politics. To do so is an assault on the very liberty we claim to defend and preserve.
If a life must be lost in war, we should know deep in our hearts that it was to defend our lives and our liberty. If this is not the case, it dishonors all who have ever given their lives. It dishonors their family, friends and all who knew them. It dishonors every American. It dishonors all people and the the name of humanity.
If we truly want to honor those fallen men and women on Memorial Day, we should pledge to them that we will do our best to never engage in another war. We should aspire to there being a Memorial day when we must look far into the past to remember those who died in war.
For in the end, the best way to honor those who lost their lives in war is to achieve peace.