May 13, 2002

Memorial Day Remembered

There was a time when it bothered me to see their smiling faces and hear the laughter. Could they not see this was an insult to the memory of those who had faced the horror that was war and sacrificed all so that America might enjoy freedom? Could they not hear the echoes of my grief, when with a blink of an eye, I could see my fallen comrades and once again feel their pain?

Mankind soon forgets the atrocities of the past, unaware that it is this inate lapse of memory that invariably leads to the atrocities yet to come. Words of advice to those of you who understand and have yet failed to riddle the enigma... humanity itself is an undeniable paradox based on denial of it's base instincts toward excess in all things. The cruelty called war is simply the physical extension of one among many of the forces that drive and mould our inner selves and our special destiny.

We cannot deny that which is us, yet we can seek to find, and yes, even celebrate any small redeeming virtue our minds can sieze upon to justify our continued existence. We perceive hope for our children's children in the courage shown by those lost in battle, while ignoring the shattered lives of those who knew them best. Inhumanity is the best as well as the worst of teachers; from it we see what we really are, and know what we must become to conquer the beast within and survive.

And so, with the commemoration of this day, it seems we celebrate the lives of those who are destined to die in future wars until the "war to end all wars" truly comes to pass. Those who have come to grip with the reality of why we need a Memorial Day will, in the waning hours of twilight, remember and mourn those who have already answered the call and paid the ultimate price.

It bothers me less with every passing year. Age may bring wisdom - but more benevolently bestows forgetfullness. As time goes on, I forget the lessons learned, thus allowing the new generation to make the same mistakes.

Posted by NIFAIRIOUS at May 13, 2002 06:13 PM