Call it Memorial Day, if you'd rather; these days, and despite our recent pair of undeclared wars, Americans spend little time at the cemetery leaving flowers and flags for the honored dead.
Perhaps we should be taking that time; perhaps seeing the price, tallied up in the lives of men (and women) who stood up when it counted and fell in the doing, would serve as a reminder that war's bill always comes due. The first generation that did so, in the wake of a bloody internecine war, knew the price full well, in lost sons, brothers and husbands. There was little they could do except honor their memory.
This day is not about politicians or policy. It's not about parades and brass bands, either, though you may see one or two. This day is for all those who never came back.
Maybe you can't leave a wreath. Spare the dead a moment nevertheless, no matter what you think of the war that killed them: they went and stood between you and "war's desolation." Remember them. Don't let their deaths go for naught.
6 months ago