Memorial Day 2004

flag.jpgI took a break man­u­al­ly up­dat­ing en­tries from two years ago to go to the park and toss the ‘bee for a bit. What start­ed out as a sod­den day turned out bet­ter than ex­pect­ed. I en­joyed the weath­er, my time off from work and some thought­ful­ness.

I had some time to kill while wait­ing for my friends to show up and sud­den­ly it dawned on me that I was sit­ting in front of a Lakewood soldier’s memo­ri­al. I de­cid­ed that since, in fact, Memorial Day is sup­posed to be about re­mem­ber­ing and hon­or­ing the folks who died fight­ing as America, I should do so.

I made sure to read every name on the pil­lar and I touched the lone ‘Harvey’ on the list. For the most part I do not en­dorse war, it has its time and place, but it should be the very last time and the very last place and should on­ly be waged to pre­vent a larg­er loss of life.

I do not ap­prove of what America has done in Afghanistan and Iraq but dis­ap­prov­ing of the de­ci­sion does not mean I dis­ap­prove or re­vile our sol­diers. That is the last thing on my mind. I’m sure many of them don’t want to be where they are and don’t agree with why they are where they are. What is im­por­tant for me is the fact that our sol­diers are putting their lives in the ser­vice of im­prov­ing our coun­try. So, even if they dis­agree with the war it­self they are sup­port­ed by their de­sire to rep­re­sent America.

I’m not say­ing that every sol­dier has this sun­ny and pa­tri­otic feel­ing. But for every sol­dier that wars for mis­guid­ed rea­sons there is a sol­dier who wars for the right ones. For every sol­dier that abus­es pris­on­ers there is a sol­dier who would act self­less­ly to de­fend a fel­low sol­dier, civil­ian or pris­on­er in dan­ger. Memorial Day is about hon­or­ing the­se sol­diers and even more im­por­tant­ly, the sol­diers whose prais­es are nev­er sung, who nev­er re­ceive the hon­ors due them. Most im­por­tant­ly, Memorial Day is for those sol­diers who die sol­dier­ing.

My grand­fa­ther is the on­ly per­son I have talked to with ex­pe­ri­ence fight­ing for America. While he did not die in the ser­vice of his coun­try, Memorial Day is for him as well. So the least I can do to hon­or him since I can­not vis­it his grave is to hon­or the sol­diers I can vis­it here in Lakewood.

I took some pic­tures too.