I’m currently sitting at a Memorial Day parade in my community. You see the American flags all over the place and soon my fellow attendees and I will be exposed to a overdose of patriotism.
For the last few days we’ve seen the ads memorializing our military dead. We hear the “Thank you for your service” rang from the TV to the pulpit. In my town, banners bearing the photos of hometown veterans grace the streets.
However what about those left behind? We forget the widow(er), the orphan, parents, lovers, friends, lifetime companions and soulmates who’ve lost someone to war? Those with an empty chair at the table, an empty side of the bed, the empty spot on the church pew, or the empty desk in a college classroom? Maybe Instead of some lame “Thank you for your service/sacrifice” maybe we can honor them?
How about the veterans who are still fighting wars at home? Facing racism, homelessness, mental illness, physical pain, loneliness, and other demons?
No, we’re not going to do that. We’ll have the patriotic orgy with the marching bands and the call to remember our fallen as if it were our sacred.
While those who really sacrificed the most will sit in the shadows and sidelines of our pomp and parade silently suffering…
Another Memorial Day…