Today, we set out flags by gravestones at cemetery’s where we may not have loved ones resting, but many do so in respect for the sacrifice many have made so we can relax on this day, or visit with friends and family, enjoying the freedoms the fallen have given to us all as a gift.
Just another holiday marking the beginning of another summer. No, not for me and as I contemplate the service I rendered so many years ago as a reservist in the US Marine Corps, I think of Jesse’s and Hector’s fathers who served during WWII. They are characters in a story, but represent the thousands who fought in that Greatest Generation. Without their sacrifice, the world would be a very dark place indeed. I think too of Christopher Canetti, a newly promoted Lieutenant in the Marines, who was so tragically killed in an auto accident just a few short hours after his promotion ceremony. The brother of my childhood friend Frank, I remember him often. Such a wonder friend and young man. These remembered are just a few who have laid down their life in order to serve their nation.
The injustice of war and why it is even contemplated by nations, as a way to resolve their differences is so horrible and so foolish as a national policy. I am no pacifist. Those who know me know this. No, the story of The Bend is full of characters who are not pacifists in how they live their lives. But that is a story, much of it true, which peppers our lives and now, as we grow into our older years, we look back and remember, and say thank you.
The message of The Bend is to say to all that we all must serve, in some way or fashion. We should dedicate ourselves to a path and make choices which will hopefully keep us all on the road to a full and happy life. Let us hope today that somehow, and in some way people and nations can find a way to come together with common ground of respect and understanding.
This is my hope and prayer on this Memorial Day.