Today we contemplate the lives…and deaths…of those who fell in service to their country. A day to celebrate family, a day to celebrate what it means to be human. It is a day to visit cemeteries and decorate graves in remembrance of those lying in them.
The origins of the Memorial Day (once known as Decoration Day) stem from a custom of springtime honoring of the dead, but the official U.S. Memorial Day has its roots in the aftermath of and attempts to heal from the Civil War, the last great conflict actually fought on our soil, a conflict that took the lives of more Americans than any other in our country’s short history, one from which we have yet to fully heal, one we would do well to remember–and contemplate.
As you gather for family barbecues take a moment to consider what it took to get these humans, our ancestors, to leave their homes, their family, their children, take up arms and march uphill to their deaths in a hail of lead. Consider those who exhorted them. Consider the preachers who backed them with justification of slavery, using words from a Bible shared with their Northern counterparts, both sides claiming proper literal interpretation.
Marvel at what humans can be led to sincerely believe…and die for.
On this Memorial Day, this holiday, this holy-day, take a moment to consider those who have gone before…all of them…and consider what it means to be human.
Keep to the high ground,