This is a belated Memorial Day musing. I had no access to computers all weekend. It’s fun for some but for me not so much.
To some, this is not a day people wish to celebrate. It deals with death and loss and even war. To some remembering fallen soldiers only helps to reinforce militarism and imperialism and the expense of human life. I don’t totally disagree. War is a waste. It’s a waste of resources, a waste of lives, a waste of people and populations, a wasted opportunity for diplomacy, a waste of hope. War is a situation where the governmental empowered egos outweigh any needs of the collective good and send men and women to fight and die for something they have been told is for their country’s good. War is a tragedy and does no one any good.
However we cannot and should not ever equate our military soldiers with our government’s militaristic tendencies. The soldiers are our friends and neighbors, sons and daughters, husbands and wives, mothers and fathers. Some are there because they want to improve their country; some are there to improve themselves. Some are there to pay for college; some are there because it’s their job. Some are there because their parents were before them as their parents were before them; some are there because it’s the only way out. Whatever the stories, whatever the reasons, they serve. They serve their country with the best intentions even if their government doesn’t. They do what they do proudly even if many object to why. They do what they do not because they want to die for their country; they do it because they love their country.
This is the day we remember those who died while serving. All the names on the tombstones, memorials, MIA lists are brothers to those who with them, friends and family to those who knew them. While in the thousands they mark off statistics, individually they are human beings. We all need to work for peace and justice, even if this means stopping our governments from marching off to war. However this is a day we miss human beings marched off in the past never to return.