Monday, May 29, 2017

The Meaning of Memorial Day

     The above photo was taken at Arlington National Cemetery.     The funeral procession is specifically in Section 60 of Arlington National Cemetery.  Section 60 is where the casualties of he wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are laid to rest.
     With no intentions of causing anyone to feel undeservedly criticized, I have been told “Happy Memorial Day!' a number of time to day. No one means for the phrase to be awkward. The intentions are pure. Everyone is going to enjoy Memorial Day if at all possible. I enjoyed a happy Memorial Day myself with grilled hamburgers and fresh watermelon under sunny skies. But the meaning of Memorial Day is not to be happy. It is to reflect on American armed servicemen and women who sacrificed their lives in war.
      One may argue enjoying the Memorial Day holiday is appreciating those who paid the ultimate price for protecting our freedom. But I am not naive enough to believe every war the United States has ever fought was about protecting our freedoms. I am not here to go down the list, but some gave all fr questionable reasons. So they deserve a day of remembrance and reflection. Some of their lives were snuffed out for dubious reasons. Memorial Day should be a reminder not to enter into war lightly.
      All that said, only the dead have seen the end of war. A sobering thought, but also one to dwell on today amid all the grilled hamburgers and discount shopping.

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