May 26, 2008

Memorial Day 2008

Photo by jcolman

On this Memorial Day I find myself contrasting the tragedy of 4079 American men and women killed in the Iraq conflict and the hope and hope and inspiration that can be found in their sacrifice. CNN has a list of all the Iraq war casualites, name, a photo, age, hometown and the circustances of their death. Each entry represents a son or daughter, perhaps a sibling or cousin who didn't come home. They volunteered to help protect our country and paid with their lives. This not about the war but about the service and sacrifice of those who served in our armed forces. Take a moment today to remember them and their families.
Fly the flag, go to a service or just spend a moment thinking about how your life would changed if you lost someone close to you at age 25.
This message contrasts so sharply with the other story of the day, the success of NASA in landing a probe on Mars. Man working to explore beyond our planet can only remind us of how much we have in common here on earth. Likewise the tragedies in China and Myanmar wrench us, the touch our hearts because we have known and seen the same tragedies in our areas, Hurricanes do the same damage in Rodanthe and Rangoon. We share the pain of the parents who lost children to the earthquake. It is impossible to make sense of loss like that. Just as it is impossible to escape the pain of losing in child in war.
Perhaps somday the world will come to its senses, we will remember our shared loss and join together to bring peace and justice around the world. Perhaps we will spend more time comforting each other and less time arguing. When the pain we have in common becomes more important than the things that divide us the world will begin to move forward.

Take time today to honor all of those who have served this country, think about their families and friends, thank them for their sacifcie. Then say a brief prayer for a time when we will no longer need that sacrifice and the energies and efforts can be used to ease the rest of the pain we see in the world today.
Have a great Memorial Day, eat a burger, hug a child, take a walk, think about how fortunate you are, think about what you will do to make the world a better place.


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