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.