Memorial Day honors those who lost their lives in service to their communities, specifically recognizing members of the armed forces who died while on duty.
This morning I remembered a high school friend who died in the Gulf War in 1991, the result of the crash of the bomber he was flying over the Gulf. I remembered my dad whose tour of duty in the Navy took him to Newfoundland and Morocco, and my mom’s second husband who served in the Army and the LAPD. My aunty-in-law was a medic in the Air Force. My uncle saw combat in Viet Nam, as did my neighbor, and a good friend.
So many people in our circles have experienced service during conflict. They are not perfect individuals, and the conflicts they served in, whether declared as wars, police actions, defensive responses, or community protection, are always complex. Each Memorial Day I try to do something to contribute to lasting peace for all members of our human community.
When decision-makers in our society send some of our members into deadly conflict, for whatever reasons, we owe our friends and family members who do not come home the dignity of remembering each and every one of them with love and gratitude.