In the United States, Memorial Day is officially set aside as a national holiday to recognize and commemorate those who have died while in military service. I believe that this day is most commonly thought of as a memorial to those who have died in war.
There really isn't any good explanation or justification for war; at least so it seems. As the Wikipedia article says, in a top line disclaimer, there are "multiple issues" in trying to define or describe it.
The idea of "giving one's life" for one's country; or for freedom; or to defend democracy; or to establish justice is something that I think is well worth commemorating.
Strictly speaking, however, giving one's life in this way would not actually require the killing of anyone else, the taking of their life. War, however, does require that.
As we sift our feelings, and continue to seek some adequate definition and explanation for war, I think it might be good to concentrate on the "giving" of our lives, not the "taking" of others'. When that is what we commemorate, this will truly be a day worth celebrating.
Monday, May 31, 2010
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