Yesterday, I attended the gathering in Roswell to remember those who have paid an ultimate sacrifice as they served our nation in our armed forces. For the past five years, my family and I have attended the Roswell Remembers program down by our City Hall. As it is each year, parts were heartbreaking, others were inspirational. I wish I knew more about my own father’s service in the Air Force when he was stationed in Japan during the Korean War.
But the thing that strikes me the most about our Memorial Day is the fact that so few of our fellow Americans mark it in a meaningful way. It has become more about days off, grilling and sales at the mall. Why is it that our commitment to service, sense of honor and love of freedom has yielded to more mundane interests?
A colleague shared similar thoughts and concerns very well in this post: Collective Amnesia: A Distinctively American Malady.
I want us to honor those who have served our country and remember those who have paid such a high price for our freedom. Every year, I reflect on a poem that was included in our Gates of Prayer:
The young soldiers do not speak.
Nevertheless, they are heard in the still houses:
who has not heard them?
They have a silence that speaks for them at night
and when the clock counts.
They say: We were young. We have died.
They say: We have done what we could
but until it is finished it is not done.
They say: We have given our lives but until it is finished
no one can know what our lives gave.
They say: Our deaths are not ours: they are yours,
they will mean what you make them.
They say: Whether our lives and our deaths were for
peace and a new hope or for nothing we cannot say,
it is you who must say this.
We leave you our deaths. Give them their meaning.
We were young, they say. We have died; remember us.
May their memories be an enduring blessing.
An additional note:
I have been remiss from writing regularly…so forgive me. As summer approaches, I look forward to returning to sharing my thoughts on a number of different topics.