Monday, May 31, 2010

Honoring Those Who Serve...

Disagreement, conflict, strife, war: by any name it seems to be a fatal flaw of the human condition.

Man is a creature who relishes the control of his surroundings, his lands, all the bounty of nature that lies before him. When others seek (or even seem to desire) to deprive him of any of his power and control . . .well, all hell breaks loose.

It is depressing that conflict and war seem to drive the expansion of human progress and civilization (if it can really be called that when applied to war) more than any other factor.

When people come together in communities and begin to specialize and divide labors among themselves ... always has evolved a warrior class. Some have been comprised of permanent warriors. Others have depended on farmers and laborers laying down their plows and tools and picking up the weapons of the day when called to do so.

Where there is conflict, battle, war ... there is always service, honor, valor, injury, and death. Today, in The United States, we honor those who have served ...and especially those who "gave the last full measure of devotion" they possessed in service to their country.

Save the debates about 'right vs wrong' and 'just vs unjust'. Instead, today, pause to remember and honor those who answered when called and served without reservation.

The Ken Burns' epic production of The Civil War includes a brief segment that shares the thoughts of a Union soldier as he writes home to his beloved wife in the days before battle. His profound and emotional thoughts and words are always moving to me, particularly on Memorial Day:

I also offer today the saddest piece of music I have ever heard. A piece occasionally used for military and other funerals. Anyone who can remain unmoved as they listen must surely have a heart and soul of stone:

A brief thought, a brief tribute, a brief prayer for all who serve and have serve ... and for all those who gave their all so we might indeed remember to this day.