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.