This is my fourth Memorial Day post for the Juggle Struggle. In reviewing my previous ones for this holiday, I find that my original one from 2013 still…strikingly…applies to today’s cultural climate.
The fact that this is an election year means that the divisiveness which I spoke of then is at an ever heightened fever pitch—it’s all sadly uglier than when I first wrote.
It feels like we are on the precipice of change, but I’m not so sure where that change will take us. Hopeful in one regard and flat out scary in another equals nervous times.
But today is Memorial Day. A day intended to remember and appreciate the sacrifices that men and women have made so that the citizens of the United States have rights that include free speech, freedom of religion, the right to a fair trial…and so much more.
So again I share my first Memorial Day post…hoping that next year I will find myself on more hopeful turf, capable of sharing a buoyant outlook—and in need of writing a brand, spanking new post that speaks of progress, inspiration, fairness, and teamwork.
A girl can dream.
On This, We Can Agree
Originally published 5.27.13
Most people recognize that today’s America is extremely polarized. Hostile camps are set up on pretty much every issue, to the point where our government can’t even work together to solve very solvable problems, and our population is all too comfortable denigrating one another’s views. But on this—I hope, I pray—we can agree: we thank and honor those who have given the ultimate sacrifice in service to our country. And we are grateful to all those who serve.
Memorial Day was created after the Civil War to honor both Union and Confederate soldiers who died in that war. (And, of course, it has evolved to honor all Americans who have died in military service.) But perhaps its origin should be a lesson to us today—that extremely opposite sides can come together to honor the sacrifices made for this beautiful country of ours.
I don’t mean to be simplistic about this at all. War is certainly not just good vs evil. But no matter what the gray areas are of any given conflict, we must always remember that we have people who say, “I will risk my life for this”—and the “this” is ultimately the freedom we Americans enjoy—warts and all.
My dad served in World War II. My father-in-law was present at the Cuban Missile Crisis. I never got to know a cousin of mine because he died in Vietnam when I was just a baby. I have friends and neighbors who bravely serve and have served. Hundreds of thousands of people who don’t even know me are taking care of business on my behalf.
Thank you all.
I pray that as a country we strive to be better people every day, and that we grow in acceptance, respect, and love for one another. To me, anything less is a dishonor to those who have given us their all.