Friday, May 24, 2013

Knowing the Dead

Memorial Day weekend is upon us. Time for grilling and shopping. And in our rush to start summer with a bang, it is easy to forget that Monday's holiday was created for a more solemn purpose: to remember those who have sacrificed in our name. It is our moral obligation as citizens, and as human beings.

To fulfill that obligation, however, we must go far beyond patriotic jingoism or "support the troops" pep rallies. We need to listen to the stories of our dead. We need to gaze into their faces in the photographs they left behind. We need to read the words written about them by loved ones old and new. We need to get to know them. They died for us after all. Is that not the least we can do for them?

And once we are done with them, perhaps we can get to know those who have been killed in our name, whether enemy or "collateral damage". They died for our well being just as much as our own dead. Is that not the least we can do for them?

And after them, maybe we can get to know those who survived the battlefield, only to kill themselves here at home. They served on our behalf too, and walked away with a broken soul because of it. Is that not the least we can do for them?

And after we have gotten to know some of these beautiful, but dead, siblings, maybe, just maybe, we will finally start to see how truly asinine warfare really is.

"It is past time that we recognize this family of the One, this fellowship of the One. They are tired of us ignoring, neglecting, and tarnishing it. This family is our Creator's greatest gift to us and we spit upon it constantly. Enough!"