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America’s Memorial Day

Abraham Lincoln conceived this day of memorial:

“The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave to every living heart… should swell into a mighty chorus of remembrance, gratitude and rededication on this solemn occasion.”

In many American homes there are flags folded and encased in glass on mantles, on shelves and on table tops – some more than one, or even more – marking years of various wars. There is unspeakable conflict in the emotions of those who hold these flags; pride, anguish, comfort of security, yet unresolved pain that came knocking much too soon. Those who every day, seem to always – every day – remember. Heroes and sheroes who are first and foremost, dear loved ones, whom we wish were still here – had never had to go.

Lincoln was lamenting that we solemnly honor our fallen by recommitting ourselves to war as only an absolute and truthfully final resort in protecting life and living freedoms. That we reflect on the hard earned reality that war is not a thing to celebrate or romanticize. That the idea of taking a life and sacrificing a life in battle is not a thing to contemplate in empty obstinance. Within all ideology, in all that we do, with all that we say and feel, we should remember this, as seriously as we remember them.