Memorial Monday was not originally intended as a day off of work to go shopping – nor to make the weekend longer to go anywhere else. It was meant to be a day to remember – and reflect with respect.
Honoring the (war) dead has little to do with patriotism, nationalism, or glorifying the military. Simply “serving” or dying does not make someone a hero but all who die while serving matter and deserve not being forgotten.
The same is true for their families. It is important to keep in mind that the wounded (and still living) almost always outnumber the dead, that sacrifice and service are not only in combat, and that Americans in uniform are not the only people affected by wars, conflicts, and “kinetic actions” (involving U.S. Armed Forces).
May the memories you make and that others have of YOU be worth thinking about more than just once a year.
© 2011, Oren Pardes. All rights reserved.