Monday, May 25, 2009


Perhaps this is a woman thing so forgive me.

I hate to hate and seldom do, but I readily hate the need for a Memorial Day.

Why must we set aside a day to remember those who died fighting for us?

Why did they have to fight and die in the first place?

Why did they have to halt their lives before they were barely lived?

Why were they denied the raising of children,the rewards of life as well as the pains of life? Denied the places to go, things to see, people to love, pride to be felt, mistakes to be made and learned from, love given and received, food to taste, hugs to be felt, the ache of tired muscles from work accomplished or activities enjoyed. These were all taken from young men and women in their prime years and why?

This has gone on since cave man picked up the first rock as a weapon.

Why can't we progress from such an ancient answer to problems and desires? We can go to the moon and harness the sun but we can't share this beautiful planet.

We really are a primitive people.

Families are splintered, never to be whole again all because one group of troubled men covet what someone else has, are still angry over ancient slights created by distant ancestors, or think that those who look different or worship differently need to be conquered, destroyed or changed.

If greed, pride, intolerance and arrogance could be stricken from the human heart, this would be a normal two day weekend. Enjoy the day off. A high price was paid for it.

Below are thoughts by much smarter people who say it better.

I quote others only in order the better to express myself. --Michel de Montaigne.

Why do we kill people who are killing people to show that killing people is wrong? ~Holly Near

In war, there are no unwounded soldiers. ~José Narosky

The tragedy of war is that it uses man's best to do man's worst. ~Henry Fosdick

I recoil with horror at the ferociousness of man. Will nations never devise a more rational umpire of differences than force? Are there no means of coercing injustice more gratifying to our nature than a waste of the blood of thousands and of the labor of millions of our fellow creatures? ~Thomas Jefferson

Why can't we all just get along? - Rodney King

As I said, there are no answers and we will spend this day remembering and honoring those who lay their lives on the line for the rest of us. The ultimate sacrifice one does not return from.

I will shed tears today for those countless lives sacrificed since time began. As the sound of "Taps" fills the air, I will remember my personal loss of a friend in Vietnam, and grieve for those whom I never got to meet. War is a terrible thing.

God help us to find another way.


  1. Very poignant, patti. I actually think we picked up the first rock to make a tool and not a weapon. The trend towards weaponry and war happened later. I believe we are not primitive enough, not enough in touch with the land and cycles, and have forgotten how to really live. There is a book by Daniel Quinn called Ishmael that takes a very interesting look at how we got to be the warring people we are. Still, we all must weep on this day for all those who have lost their lives in this madness.

  2. All that is so true and visible when my husband and I walk the halls of any VA hospital.

    Men and now women, maimed, broken, without extremities, paralyzed, with serious permanent mental and physical damage. Then it hits you--not only do they cope with the ravages of war daily; so do their families and friends.

    My husband never was in combat, but I have had personal contact with Post-Tramatic Stress syndrome twice. Once such a person had a flashback on a hunting trip with my half brother, shot everyone in the hunting party and himself. (my brother-shot in the back-survived).

    The other man lives in my town. He is not responsible for his unbelievably filthy living conditions, his alcoholic mixing with unbelievably strong sleeping pills. He is in my ward and calls me with the city comes down hard on him. I intercede as best I can for him.

  3. You have posed questions that I have often pondered. No easy answers come forth.
    And I find it sad that most just look at this as a start of summer three day holiday with no thought of those who gave all.

  4. Interesting post, Patti. You are right: Why do we have to fight at all??? Why can't we all just get along?

    Unfortunately, God made us all unique and independent humans. There are those out there (unfortunately) who want to hurt us.. It's human nature to stand up for ourselves. If anyone tried to harm my children or anyone I love, I'd fight to death to protect them. It's just what humans do...

    NOW--saying that, I wish it weren't true and I wish we all were born with a 'turn the other cheek' attitude. We can pray for that and wish for that--and maybe someday it will happen. People of all races, all nationalities, all religions, etc. WILL just get-along with one another. Wouldn't that be the perfect world?

    BUT--we don't live in a perfect world. We are greedy, powerful (or trying to be powerful) humans.

    SO---I choose to believe that Memorial Day should be a time to say THANKS to those who went before us (whether in battle or not). IF it weren't for them, we would not have the freedoms we love today.

    Be sad---be happy---whatever!!!! BUT-- don't forget to REMEMBER!


  5. robin,
    Thanks for the Ishmael link. I started reading but pages were left out so I checked my library, they have it and I will pick it up tomorrow when they reopen.

    What an amazing story and I hope your brother suffered no long term effects. I think it is wonderful that you do not blame the shooter nor the man whose life is out of control. They are victims also of a poor way to solve problems. Thanks.


    Unfortunately most days meant to celebrate an event of meaning, get watered down thru the years and the true meaning becomes an after thought.

    Yeh, I know I am climbing the slippery pole of idealism but even at almost 70, idealism still burns in my belly. I agree we are so much better as a people than we appear in newsprint.
    I shed tears today for those who paid the highest price.

  6. Wondedrful Wonderful Post, Patti....
    Why Indeed, must there be WARS??

    I love Holly Nears quote...In fact, I love them all!

  7. OOLOH
    That was my favorite also. It just said it all about the futility of our fuzzy logic. What we do just doesn't make sense.