Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial Day

I used to love Memorial Day. It was the signal for the end of school where I was growing up—Texas summers didn’t support classroom attentiveness after May. Often we would travel to my grandmother’s home in small town Missouri. There was always a parade: the kids would decorate their bikes, the American Legion would find parts of their old uniform, WWII vets would march down Main Street and the country club swimming hole was open for the first time.

But since the Vietnam era, Memorial Day has been a harder day to celebrate. I knew many who were killed in Vietnam. I know even more whose lives were shattered by that time. I did not support that war. And I believe that over the years we have seen that that war was ill-advised and not well managed. This does not mean that I did not or do not support those who entered military service or served in that war.

I do not support the politics of nations that make little or no effort to negotiate with each other. I have a hard time supporting the war in Iraq. I believe that we entered that war for vengeance—never a good reason to fight. But that does not mean that I do not support those who sign up and go to fight.

Each week we pray for those who have enlisted to serve our nation either in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan or serving in other areas of the world. I am proud of their commitment to the social fabric of our nation. I just pray that their reason for putting themselves in harms way will be alleviated. I want to find a way to keep from our young people from having to sacrifice themselves so I can be comfortable.

I pray that God will teach us more about what it means to live peacefully on this planet. And I promise to try to practice more what it means to live peacefully with my fellow human beings for the sake of their lives.

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