Memorial Day Retrospective

I know what I have written here will not be well-received by some, and that’s okay.  It’s my perspective only…

Yesterday I went to a Memorial Day presentation in music and narrative that was prepared to remind us of ‘heroes’, ‘patriotism’, ‘freedom’,’ liberty’, and ‘fallen servants’ of our country.  And in the middle of the program I began to experience concern, anger, anxiety, and alarm.  Yes, alarm.  For what I heard was the continuing cry to remain in a place of moral, religious, and traditional values that, to my mind, should  no longer serve the best interest of our country.

The narrative, through speeches given by Abraham Lincoln – (how many years ago, now?) – came across to me as defining an emotional place we, as citizens, should stay in with regard to our ‘fallen heroes’.  I ask, would we have ‘fallen heroes’ of war if there was no war? What if we began to think ourselves out of war?  Out of hero worship?  Out of patriotism?

What if there were a memorial to the world’s last dead soldier, or even better, the world’s last soldier, because “soldier” was an extinct job?  I think it’s about time to bring an end to the standards and status quo of ideologies of times past regarding the ways we commemorate our country’s service men and women, and how we think of terms like freedom, patriotism, liberty, justice, etc.  Enough! Enough of the emotionality that is fraught in every ‘memorial’ commemoration and all of the conditioned responses to a dysfunctional way of viewing the world.  We follow like sheep, in this way of remembering

Yesterday we were reminded in this presentation that these heroes died to preserve freedom.  I ask, “What kind of freedom?”   If one just looks at the political scenes transpiring across our country – the legislation by states that place barriers on freedom for various populations – one can see that the heroes are not going to Iraq, Afghanistan, or any other place to fight for freedoms being eroded by our very own ‘leaders’ on our own soil.

What I heard today was the drone of maintaining a status quo – a kind of brain-washing (in a way similar to other ‘leaders’ who have stirred up the emotionality of the masses to do evil things) – that says we must honor those who fell in the service of a country that, in reality, has no intention to end wars.  To do so would cause more collapse of the economic, political, cultural, and power brokering status quo, no?  We are entering a new paradigm and this traditional perspective must and will give way to it – eventually.

I am not saying there is no value at all in tradition.  What I AM saying is that traditional values need to be reevaluated and those that don’t serve in a healthy way need to be released from one’s world view.  We need to think differently – maybe even outside the box about warriors, heroes, patriots, and statesmen – re-creating a vision more in alignment with a better future.  We need to stop being ‘sheep’!

To paraphrase from the biblical quote “Let the dead bury the dead”, let those who are not awake, and who continue to stay in this ‘status quo’ mind set called Memorial Day, bury (and commemorate) the dead.  For me, I must move on.

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8 thoughts on “Memorial Day Retrospective”

  1. I received this comment via email from my friend Judy, who has commented on my blog before…

    “Thanks for your Memorial Day Retrospective. You’ve expressed what I experience each time I hear diatribe regarding our Christian values, patriotism, fighting for freedom, the US as the most powerful nation on earth, and other flag-waving balder-all. I frequently feel nothing but shame as a member of the human race.”

  2. BRAVO!!! I could not have said it better! War MUST cease on planet earth….. I am with you 100%…. Very weary of “tradition”…..”Christian Values” “Patriotism” “Freedom Fighters” Glorification of War and its
    “Hero’s”…..

    Good job my Friend!

    Elizabeth….

  3. Hi Sue, nice to see a post from you again. I love these lines “What if there were a memorial to the world’s last dead soldier, or even better, the world’s last soldier, because “soldier” was an extinct job?”
    I hope you are liking your new home.

    1. Hi RVJohn! Thanks for the comment. Yes, I am enjoying my new home. It’s pretty much set the way I want it – I don’t need anything else…If you come through Tucson on your way to Yuma and points west in the winter, stop in. I live close to the casino that’s across from the airport. Easy in, easy out on the interstate. What are you doing this summer?

      1. Sue I am workamping in Las Cruces again this summer. Thanks for the invite, I may just stop in and say hello one of these days. Great to here you are liking your new place.

  4. I have been fairly regularly commenting on articles on the Huffington Post since last fall. Yesterday I commented on Chris Hayes’ apology for his comment about feeling uncomfortable with the word ‘hero’. I don’t think he should have felt the need to apologize. I’m surprised and delighted that I received several positive responses to my comment. It shows that as I speak out, others are motivated to also speak out.

  5. Hi Sue,

    I liked your thoughts on Memorial Day.

    How about adding this sad thought:

    “Only the dead have seen the end of war.”
    ― Plato

    Max

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