30 May 2011

Can't Quite Call It a Holiday...

I never thought much about Memorial Day as a kid.  In the family I have to go back as far as great-uncles to find relatives who even served in war, and they all came back.  As for many, I suppose, it was the 1st everybody-hanging-out-in-the-back-yard-and-swimming-in-the-neighbor's-pool day of the summer.  As a heady, 70's kind of teenager, I had a kind of contempt for anything related to the military and national identity.

I think about it more now.  I think of the Tomb of the Unknowns.  I think of the graves on the beachheads of Normandy.  I think about bodies never recovered.  I often wonder how palliative it is for families to consider that the fallen "died for their country." 

I think of those killed in "friendly fire."  I think of those used as test subjects for biological, nuclear, and chemical weaponry.  I think of the guy honored in one of the suburbs here who thew himself on a grenade in Vietnam, saving the rest of his company.  He was 22.

Buddhist clergy are the go-to people for funerals in East Asia.  I think I'll do a small memorial service today.  It's the very least I can offer.

1 comment:

  1. That is a very noble thought. Irrespective of the reasons of wars, innocent people die and pay the price for actions of folks who have money and power. Doing the service is a great idea.