I am sure it is your favorite holiday of the year. The day we head out to National Cemeteries, American Legion Halls and retirement homes to listen to tales of innocence lost and lives cut down in their primes. The day we become grateful we can fight an extended war with no mandatory draft. The day we realize we can spend inordinate amounts of money on that war and still cut taxes.
Ahhhh, it's beginning to look a lot like Memorial Day.
Actually for most of us, it means nothing more than a Monday off from work, the beginning of summer and an excuse to fire up the old grill with friends and cheap beer. Memorial Day means nothing more to most of us (who did not lose a loved one) than a moment of guilt in the morning when we read the front page of the paper (like MLK Day) or watch the news and see the President laying flowers on the tomb of a man who died too soon.
As we prepare for this Memorial Day, please remember those who have died in war. They leave families grieving and expectations unfulfilled. As a believer in the Christian duty to practice the spiritual discipline of nonviolence, I still take time to remember those who have died and those returning to a home that has changed. As the child of a veteran of 2 wars, I have a daily reminder of the men and women who fought and returned. Some of those returning find themselves with no job, no spouse, no parents, no limbs, no support system and no home. It is tragic that these men and women must pay such a price for American security while we pay nothing (besides $.50 more at the pump).
Link to Sojo's Action Alert to Support Returning War vets. You can find out how the present administration and Pentagon are lagging in their actual support and how we can help.
Link to Mark Shield's excellent Memorial Day commentary on how this is the first time in US history that Americans are not asked to sacrifice during a war, except for the soldiers who must make extra sacrifices during this time. It is a needed read for all War and Military supporters along with those against the war, as well as anyone with plans on Memorial Day.