Sunday, May 30, 2010

Memorial Day

Laying in bed this morning, I was thinking about Memorial Day and what it means, other than the official start of the summer season. I don't know many veterans - there are no family graves for me to place poppies and flags upon. While I deeply appreciate the tremendous sacrifices men and women have made for my freedom, there is something I would cherish even more - the lack of need for veterans due to the absence of war.

It seems that humans have occupied the Earth for about 200,000 years, which is certainly a lot longer than I've been married. Why is it then, that as a species, we have been unable to develop a process, other than war, to resolve our discrepancies? In the brief 15+ years since our wedding, my husband and I have discovered that, while we may have different methods for accomplishing a goal, generally we are hoping to achieve the same positive outcome for ourselves and our family. We understand that we can't each have our way every time and that compromise is necessary to achieve a generally peaceful coexistence. Why can't we as a global community understand and accept this?

Someday, in my little peace-filled, fantasy world, I'd like to see Memorial Day become a day when the world can come together to remember, to memorialize, a time when there was war. Instead of reminiscing about those we have lost, we will talk about what can be done with all the resources we formerly used to fight wars. Young people around the world will be able to devote their efforts and energy to creating rather than destroying. Citizens can have an opportunity to fulfill community service obligations which will result in their feeling a sense of accomplishment rather than personal devastation.

When War is merely a distant memory, we will truly have something worthy of celebration.

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