Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial Day

In honor of those who served and died.

In honor of those who served and live with wounds; physical, emotional, mental and spiritual.

In honor of those who serve now.

God bless. May peace come.

Today my tiny community hosted their annual Memorial Day celebration. About 50 people attended, with 7 veterans taking on the various duties. I was the speaker for the event, which was a first for me. I have done prayers for these kinds of events before, but have never been asked to do an address also. I've always been concerned about keeping clear the line between faith and patriotism, since many churches seem to have lost that distinction, but I felt it was appropriate for a person of faith, and a person who has buried some of this community's veterans, to speak. It was nice to get to sing some of those old patriotic songs, like "America the Beautiful." It was sad to see the empty chair, with the POW/MIA black cover on the back.

On the way out to the cemetery, RevDad and I were trying to explain to Lil' Princess what these activities were all about, and to warn her about the upcoming gunfire. She asked alot of questions, and will be asking more in the days to come, I am sure. The ceremony at the cemetery was short - I prayed, a young woman played "Taps" on her trumpet, and the veterans did the gun salute, with three shots. The shots always make me wince, as they do for many others. But that's good. They're a reminder of the reality of war, and the real danger soldiers face. And the deaths that we commemorated today.

Afterwards we all had sandwiches and pie, and connected as a community. The children played, the adults discussed/gossiped, and much coffee was drunk on this cold and windy day. We've all moved on since then to other activities for the day, gotten on with things. But we remember.

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