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Memorial Day - Not About War

This week I was thinking about the celebration of Memorial Day. In all honesty and truthfullness I must say it has been a holiday of conflict with me. Please hear me out before you bombard me with tales of brave soldiers and lost lives.

First and foremost, I destest war or for that matter, violence of any type. To me, the taking of life or harming of another is unspeakable, unforgiveable and shocking. I mean, in an instant, you've taken away the precious gift of life; never to be given back again. How can it ever be justified?

Yet, in thinking realistically, I know if someone was attempting to harm or kill another and I was there and could prevent it, I'd be the first to pack a blow or shoot a gun; whatever it would take to stop them from hurting or killing the person. Sure, I'd have regrets about it, but I certainly would not hesitate for a moment to save an innocent person's life.

Justified? Yes. Horrible? Always.

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When a nation proclaims a conflict or a war, it needs to be the last resort against another country. It should not be easily enforced and all men and women would be wise to question the need before entering into such wars of death and destruction.

Yet who ends up fighting the wars of nations? Who ends up protecting our freedoms, our rights, our country? It is our sons, our dauighters, our fathers, our mothers and the men and women who have since passed away during World War I, World War II and Vietnam. So easy for governments to make these grave decisions, but who follows up and carries out the violence and devistation against another nation? Not the politicians nor most of those who have been granted a life of riches. The majority of our soldiers and fighters are the common people, those who work so very hard each day, those with little or nothing, those who love their country so much they will put their life on the line to protect it.

So when I think of Memorial Day, I absolutely think of my father, my uncles, my grandfather and many of my friends who entered the armed forces. My eyes grow teary for those I lost; not so much that I shall not see them again, but that they deserved more than death at such a young age. I also think of the need to honor all our soldiers including those who come back from war maimed, crippled, mentally distrubed and drug addicted. How can we forget them when they put their lives on the line? How can we deny them in their time of need?

In honor of all who have gone before us, are presently engaged in the service and those who will surely follow, we need to Memorialize them with acts of kindness, love and understanding.

I know this is what those who died during conflict would wish for their comrades and to me, there is nothing more special than to give to those among us, in memory of those who went before them and died so valiantly.

Yes, it isn't about war, it is about peace, love, understanding and kindness. May we make them proud and treat our brothers and sisters in the way they deserve to be treated. May we tend to their needs and embrace them rather than turn away. May we fulfill their dreams and help them meet their goals and, lastly, may we thank them through gesture and deed.