Thursday, September 11, 2008
Another Memorial Day
In a sense, that is what today is.
When I was in the sixth grade, we had to write "An Ode to Memorial Day" as a class exercise. Mine started like this:
We talk a lot. We use a lot of words.
We don't say much. There's not much can be said.
We talk of war. We say "Lest we forget..."
Why not forget? Will our remembering help?
It went on of course, rather cynically I think. I was only eleven. I don't even remember now how the rest of the poem went. Perhaps that's just as well.
Yes. Remembering helps. Hopefully, it often keeps us from making the same mistakes. Sometimes, if we're smart enough, it helps us prepare for things we cannot anticipate. Unfortunately, sometimes it gives powerful people ways to use their power for evil.
But it also gives us the opportunity to realize how much we loved. It gives us the opportunity to honor those we never knew in life, but respect beyond words for their valor and self-sacrifice.