I've been considering what to include in the Memorial Day weekend post.
My thoughts automatically turn to my dad, who lived through World War II despite his participation in the Battle of the Bulge, among other European theaters of combat. Recently I compared notes with some friends who also had WWII veteran dads. In all cases we agreed that our dads had shared very little about their experiences as we were growing up. But when the fiftieth anniversary of the end of WWII brought it into the spotlight in 1995, it was as if a door clicked open. In bits and pieces and sometimes artifacts, letters, and other memorabilia, their stories began to trickle out, often building to a stream of stories and details we had never heard.
Before I started to address these reflections, I went back to my prior posts about this particular weekend. After rereading it, the post I prepared during the first year of this blog (May, 2012) struck me as worthy of re-airing. In fact, It outshines any thoughts I was assembling at present.
That's because Memorial Day, in my opinion, should remind us not only of the individuals who served us so well over so many different conflicts. It should remind us of the need for all of us, as a HUMAN race, to realize that wars don't just "happen", that the choices, actions, opinions, and emotional tone we adopt on a daily basis all contribute to an atmosphere that is MORE or LESS conducive to war, to violence, to hatred.
The legacy we inherit, the responsibility we can accept or deny, what we OWE to all those who served and sacrificed, is to make ourselves aware during every moment of our lives that each person matters. That WE matter. That we can shoos how we interact with others while so many others are no longer around to make those choices.
To find some recommended titles that might help us understand our place in this Memorial Day, I hope you'll consider reading it here.