“Happy” Memorial Day, everyone. Today is a day to celebrate those who paid the ultimate price for our country, and so I’m not going to post any recipes today.
Rather, some thoughts I have about this three day weekend. My university advisor shared this moving video yesterday, and unlike the youtube videos I usually see on my facebook timeline of kittens, puppies, and sloths, this one actually caused a fair amount of reflection on my part.
As an American, it’s easy to loose sight of how terrible war is; the nearest place we can go to be reminded of it is Pearl Harbor. Perhaps that’s why these two words struck me when I visited Normandy: hauntingly beautiful.
I’ve never been a fan of how much of our budget the armed forces of America utilize (20% compared to the meager 2% education gets), and of most of our oil-tied intervention “conflicts.” In fact, there was a time in my life when my frustration with the spending caused me to overlook the very reason we do celebrate memorial day: the human aspect. The very real sacrifices that the armed forces take on America.
Setting foot on the soil was an experience that shattered my judgmental attitude towards the Defense Department and caused my priorities to refocus. Hundreds (thousands?) journey to the beach and the accompanying graveyard to pay homage to their relatives and friends who have fought under the US (and its allies’) flag.
To see them there made it impossible for this empathetic creature (aka myself) to fume about the spending and conflicts. Rather, it was a sobering experience and one that I will think about every Memorial and Veterans Day.
For anyone out there who has lost a loved one, their sacrifice was not in vain–and their memory lives on in you.