Monday, May 30, 2011
I know I've said this before, but days like this have taken on a new meaning since becoming part of a military family. Some people don't think it's possible to be a pacifist and to support the troops or be proud of my soldier husband and son, but I live that dual reality. Early in my relationship with this side of the DOD there were certainly tensions as I worked through and dismantled some of my perceptions about the military and those who choose to be part of it. It's slightly ironic that the values of my family and Quaker roots are what make it possible for me to keep my distance from judgment and to embrace, in a manner of speaking, those who see the world differently than I do. The habit of doing so does, in fact, change how I see the world, and I feel richer because of that. So you'll see my cheering on my Ranger son, and weeping at footage of helmets balanced atop rifles that represent the fallen.
My history with Memorial Day has more to do with local town parades and school marching bands than remembering and honoring sacrifice, but my present life and relationships reflect a different point of view. Today I honor the men and women who take up arms on our behalf, and remember those whose lives were cut short as a result. The dead don't hear our thank yous, but I trust that in the grand, cosmic scheme of divine mystery our gratitude and sorrow is made known to them. God bless them all.
Added 3 PM Memorial Day:
The following fatalities were identified by the Department of Defense on May 29th: