It’s fine that Memorial Day is backyards and barbecue and beer. It’s also fine that Memorial Day is parades and civic pride and veterans who honor their fallen comrades.
Wars happen when our institutions fail. When our ability to talk with each other, listen to each other, value the agenda of another and work with them becomes weak. When we go into self protection mode.
That happens between nations. And within them.
When we stop hearing. When a different group becomes “less than.”
When we have to make ourselves feel bigger by making someone else smaller by comparison.
If that’s where you are, then so be it.
But if you look closely, the consequences are in front of you.
Your life is poorer than it could be. Your relationships, your career, your finances, your health, your spiritual well being all decline when you operate in anger, fear and greed.
And if you walk down Memorial Blvd. in Bristol, Connecticut, or the monuments to war dead in many towns, you’ll see it there as well.
And if you listen to stories from generations past you’ll see it.
A grandfather in Normandy. A husband in Vietnam.
A son in Afghanistan.
A veteran’s suicide back and home. An average of 22 everyday. To my mind, those are also military deaths.
Memorial Day is a time we honor those who gave their lives for our freedom.
It isn’t enough to thank them and move onto a steak.
It’s time to make a commitment to living in ways that reduce the chances of lives taken needlessly and families suffering the ultimate pain.