Saturday, May 27, 2006

Memorial Day Weekend -- Post #2

Memorial Days Past and Future

When I was a little girl, all I knew about Memorial Day was that we had a school assembly where usually someone had memorized and would recite the Gettysburg address, and that my town had a parade. I knew in my head that we were "honoring those who fought to keep us free", but I had no idea really what that meant. I knew that little flags appeared on veterans' graves. I knew that the old vets in town would wear their VFW hats all that day, even after the parade. And I knew there were picnics.

It wasn't until much later in life that I had a clue what war really meant and knew real veterans. I learned that the biggest difference between a veteran and me is that I could spend days and weeks and even months without any serious thoughts of war. They cannot. It will always be a part of their reality to one extent or another.

To send our brave young men and women to war is to put them into a torture machine. There have to be better solutions. I know there are such things as just wars. I just do not want there to have to be. I want the world at peace. I want it with everything in me.

I want wars to stop.

I don't want us to have to have any more parades that end with speeches in cemeteries. I don't want veterans to be awash in memories no one we love should have to endure today. I don't want families to have to remember how they got "the saddest news" today.

I pray that we can build a better future -- that people all over the world will someday just get sick to death of all the death -- that certain groups will stop seeing war as a profit opportunity. I want the desire for a just peace to be so strong in people that they cannot resist its lure anymore. I know that is unrealistic, and stupid-- foolhardy and utopian. I don't care. I want it anyway. I fill my prayers with that wanting and hurl them at the sky.

I want everything that every vet ever fought for to become real -- and every vet has fought for a just peace. I love my country and our veterans so much that I don't want to send them into harm's way anymore. I am tired of the death tally every day. I am tired also of feeling unsafe in the face of terrorism. I am tired of people making war on us, too.

Dear Lord, on this Memorial Day let us pray for those who have lost their lives, or their innocence, or their hopes on battlefields. Let us honor them also by allowing their sacrifices to have moved us one more step toward the ways of peace.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

The subject of war always divides and always will divide. This is because we are at war with war. The world in which we live is divisive. And, as you have already stated, Mata, this is big financial business for those at the helm of this most horrendously hideous ship.

We talk about peace.
We pray for peace.
We yearn for peace.

What is required for our world to live in peace and be at peace? I believe acceptance of differences and boundaries will go a long way toward this precious goal. I believe that uniting and standing together with the good of all is a most important requirement.

Memorial Day has historically been a very difficult time for me. I cannot accept the reality of war let alone its concept. I truly understand that without certain wars, I/we would not have the freedoms of even being here-doing this.

My main problem on this day, is that I am unable to glorify war. I am unable to celebrate even the sad concept of the loss due to war. I cannot lift up war with the respect that should be granted to those who are presently fighting and certainly those who have been taken because of war.

Those who join the war effort in true naivete, soon learn the poignant and heart-piercing lesson. Those who are forced into war by draft, command or kidnapping require our constant prayer and support. Those who have made war as their career pattern, possess our heart-felt prayers of gentle loving support that time will truly heal.

We, who remain far from the fighting, have daily/hourly responsibilities to end the strife, the killing, the carnage, the destruction. Our very thought patterns are capable of lifting up or tearing down. Our very words said or written can unite or divide.

I pray for our nation.

I pray for our world.

I pray for peace.


3:55 PM  
Blogger Mata H said...


I do not see this occasion as a celebration of war -- although some may. My post a couple of days ago about my mother's gravestone started me thinking about memorials. . . about what it means to do something "in rememberence".

When I think of that phrase, I think of communion - that to remember those who have gone before us is to commune with them in some way - to say that we want to make their best dreams of peace come true - to not judge their deaths or their lives. Their lives had inestimable value. Those who profit from war do not remember them. We must. I knew men who died as young boys, as fathers of children. I know men who served who came back forever changed. Today their faces are before me.

4:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


It was truly not my intention to indicate a celebration of war, or to appear critical of your heartfelt post. Your heart is usually very much in the right place.

My comments were to emphasize a need for the end of war so that we will not ever have to do something in remembrance.

War breaks lives. And, Memorial Day is a day to remember those whose lives have been broken far, far beyond repair.

I truly have great respect for the thought of communion with those who have gone before us. We should honor their memory and their lives and the places left vacant because of their passing. My greatest hope for future generations is that they may pass over when their time here on earth, has allowed them full and happy lives, and their lives have not been cut abruptly short.

With best regards,

5:37 PM  

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