It’s funny, for the past couple Memorial days I’ve had almost this exact same thought. But I take this comic in a positive way. I speak from complete ignorance having never been to war, but it seems to me that faced with the prospect of constant death, the thing that would keep me going would be the memory and hope of the simple things in life. American things. There is something very American about a BBQ with family and friends. That’s probably because it’s such a simple a thing, but something that wasn’t possible for most of the history of the world and still isn’t possible in a lot of the world today. I mean, the ability to go outside your house with your family and friends, sit down and be in peace. We have very little fear someone will suddenly come and throw us all in jail, or set off a bomb and kill everyone. We can rest, peacefully and enjoy the day.
I suspect this conversation happens all the time during the down times of war: “When this is over, we’re going to sit in my backyard and have a beer.” It’s a simple idea. But it’s an idea that has within it the notion of peace. And so it’s a beautiful idea.
We should absolutely today pray for the repose of the souls of those who died, and remember their sacrifice. And yet, it seems to me completely appropriate that we also honor their memory by doing what they dreamed of doing: sitting with our family and friends in peace and blessing God for the day.
“But I have been too deeply hurt, Sam. I tried to save the Shire, and it has been saved, but not for me. It must often be so, Sam, when things are in danger: some one has to give them up, lose them, so that others may keep them.”
I’ll enjoy my little piece of the Shire today; remembering what others had to give up so I could keep it.