Memorial Day is about remembering veterans, especially those fallen in war. For me, it is about 2 things.
The first, remembering ALL people who have fallen in all wars- including civilians.
I have 3 generations of veterans in my family: grandfather, WW1; father, WW2; brother, Vietnam. All 3 said the same: they didn’t want to fight, but could not bear the thought of sending someone else in their place.
They all 3 lived through their wars and perhaps they saved a hypothetical *someone who might have died in their place had they avoided the draft.
This brings me to the second thing Memorial day reminds me of.
When finding myself wanting to wriggle out of something I don’t want to do, I can’t help but hear the words of the soldiers in my family.
“I couldn’t bear the thought of what might happen to the person who would be sent to war in my place.”
My relationship to the situation I want to wriggle out of is immediately cast in a different light. I think: If I wriggle free, wiil the responsibility I dread then fall on someone else? if so, who?
What if this hypothetical someone is less capable or prepared for the task than I am?
What if they are even more justified than I am to stay out of it?
What if they suffer more?
This inquiry often provides the energy and courage to take the risk and fulfill the dreaded responsibility without so much inner turmoil.
It directly connects me with my best intentions and the way to proceed just opens up before me.
“Get it done, Foster.”
Thank you for allowing me to share this.