memorial day

As someone on Twitter pointed out, it may be a little incongruous to bid the world a “happy” Memorial Day. But certainly on this day we should remember those men and women, throughout all of American history, who went to serve their country and for one reason or another didn’t return–or didn’t return whole. Beyond the obvious, like GIs whose lives ended on Omaha Beach in 1944 or at Gettysburg in 1863, let us remember the tens of thousands who died of influenza after World War I, the women and children who mourned the losses of their family members after every American war, or the veterans who are today struggling with wounds, whether they are physical, mental or financial. It’s perhaps too bold a hope, and certainly a naive one, to express the wish that no Americans will ever again need to be sent into harm’s way, but if I could have the run of the world Memorial Day would be a holiday that looks only backwards, not forward to conflicts that are still going on or that haven’t happened yet. Let’s honor them all today.