Memorial Day

Today makes me feel melancholy.  Ever since September 11th Memorial Day has taken on greater meaning for me.  Intellectually I always knew today was a day for remembering and appreciating the sacrifices of people who have fallen while serving the U.S. in the military.  But I have never known anyone who actually died while serving in the U.S. military.  My Dad tried to enlist when he immigrated to this country but he was a few months too old.  They would later increase the age but again, he was too old at that point.   

Anyway, the meaning of the day never truly hit home with me, even though the marchers in the local Memorial Day parade made me feel sad for their sacrifices and losses.  May be the meaning of the day never hit home with me because I never felt it personally.  September 11th changed all that.  I do not feel safe the way I used to.  Actually I still have very raw feelings about September 11th.  Now on Memorial Day I tap into those feelings. 

Please note that I am not an in-your-face religious zealot.  But every day I pray for peace around the world, particularly in Iraq; for the safety of our soldiers and their families; and for a peaceful end to the war in Iraq.  Sometimes I wonder if these prayers are somewhat contradictory. 

Okay, so I hope everyone has a safe and meaningful Memorial Day. 

I particularly hope that Frank Buckles, the last living U.S. veteran of World War I, has an excellent day.  Actually I hope every day is a great one for Frank.  Go Frank!             

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