Each year it's more difficult for me to write something meaningful about the day, now especially, because members of our military are still dying and suffering injuries in Afghanistan. Though I have not lost anyone close to me in a war, I've lived through five wars in my lifetime, and that's not counting incursions or excursions, or whatever is the euphemism of the day for our interventions in countries with which we are not at war, including the drone attacks up to the present time. Five plus is enough.
We honor the fallen for their courage and dedication to duty. We extend our sympathy to their families and friends, whether the loss is recent or from long times past. We stand with you. We mourn with you. In return, the highest form of honor to those who gave their lives is to care for their families as best we can and to care for their comrades in arms who survived the wars, but returned home wounded in body, mind, and spirit. The fallen would have wanted it to be so, and, as was recently reemphasized, our past and present efforts fall far short of the needs of the veterans. Shame on us. We must do better.
I posted the video below on Facebook in honor of Memorial Day, and it seems fitting to post it here, too. Pete Seeger, the composer, and a good many other musicians have sung fine versions of the song, but Marlène's powerful performance is the most moving I've ever seen or heard.
When will we ever learn?
Lord God, Almighty and Everlasting Father, we pray for all those who have died in wars. We pray they rest in peace in the perpetual light of your love. We pray for your blessing upon the families and friends of all those who have died in service to their country. Console them for their aching loss. Bring them healing of body, mind, and spirit. Give them strength and courage to go forward, and, Lord God, above all else, give them your peace that passes understanding to keep their minds and hearts. Amen.Reposted from last year with slight editing.