“The thing about remembering,” wrote Tim O’Brien in “The Things They Carried,” “is
that you don’t forget.”
|Laura Youngblood, widow of U.S. Navy Petty Officer Travis L. Youngblood, touches his gravestone while visiting his grave in Section 60 of Arlington National Cemetery during the Memorial Day weekend in Arlington, Virginia, May 24, 2009. Youngblood died of wounds received in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in July of 2005 in Iraq. (REUTERS/Larry Downing) |
Truthfully, in my opinion? I don't think many, in the huge number of us, American citizens, compared to the number of our population serving in the military, give much of a damn about this holiday except for the three day weekend and time with family around the bbq and sales at the malls. But Laura Youngblood and her family might feel a bit differently. And for her and her children and Travis's parents and oh yeah, the thousands of individual others, killed in what our government tells us is and are exercises being waged in the name of freedom (which I think ended in World War II); for all of them, each of whom have a name and mothers and fathers and husbands and wives and children? Let's spare a moment or two to think of them.
And then, how about sparing the rest of the years of our lives to work for peace in the world, on whatever level works for you. Clicking, for a petition for peace, or against corporate gain from wars so far away. Getting into the streets. Writing letters. Just that one stretch, whatever it might be, of reaching farther than your own front door...in whatever way you can. That will be something and that something will be enough and then maybe it might be more. Because something is beyond nothing. It's the least we can do to say thank you and remember what the hell this country and this sad and horrible day is supposed to be about. Or used to be, anyway.
Have a memorial Monday. Do something, even the least thing, that means something.