Sunday, May 24, 2009

Memorial Day Thoughts


Memorial Day is May 31 in the original, but I feel that date has too much hoopla already, so I am reasonably OK with the "let's make a long weekend of it" crowd. However, we must never forget the intent of the commemoration. And to that end I find myself borrowing from Lincoln, and ironically from Vonnegut, and even from myself:


We can neither dedicate, nor consecrate, nor hallow this day. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled in places like the Ardennes, Bastogne, Iwo Jima, Chosin Reservoir, Khe Sahn, Fallujah --they have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. We may vehemently disagree as to the justice of their causes, but we cannot question the devotion of those souls who gave their all because they believed. Pro patria may be among the saddest words, and we are right to pause whenever we consider sending our loved ones into harm's way and even into the long night. But we know the dark depths of despair and loss only through contrast with the joys those who have gone on would bid us have, because they DID give all.

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