The Artdog Quotes of the Week for Memorial Day 2019
Sometimes it’s hard to gratefully remember important things. Such remembering requires that one stop and take stock. Such gratitude requires a certain humility, and acknowledging that there are more important things than oneself.
Sometimes it’s hard to feel anything but overwhelmed. This month has been fraught and frantic for me. Two different family members suffered life-threatening illnesses. I’ve spent a lot of hours chatting with tech support personnel about hitches and glitches that came with the relocation of this website to its own dedicated server.
But remembering–and remembering gratefully–is important. It’s a vital piece of how we understand ourselves in relation to our world, our community, and our relationships. It’s so important that we’ve set aside a day for it.
It’s not just a day for picnics (weather permitting), or family gatherings, or swimming pool openings, or barbeque, or even decorating graves, fireworks, concerts, and marching in parades–although we associate all of those things with Memorial Day. It’s a day for remembering that without costly sacrifices we might have none of the freedoms we enjoy.
Those open-air concerts, those parades, those delicious meals, might never be possible if we did not live in freedom and peace. Those beloved family members might be scattered or lost. The brave defenders of our liberty, the ones whom we remember on Memorial Day, live within us when we enjoy our freedoms–but also remember that freedom doesn’t come for free.
We have a bond of love and honor, an important relationship with those fallen ones who paid so dearly for the things we enjoy. It is our own honor–not theirs–that we stain and trample and besmirch when we forget.
Let us never forget them. But also . . .
Let us likewise never forget the importance of the principles they stood for: freedom and human dignity, opportunity for all; balanced government; respect for the rule of law, but also respect for the people whose well-being those laws are supposed to protect.
Let us remember the whole Constitution, not just our favorite parts. Let us remember the sacred importance of treaties. Let us remember that no matter what we look like, or what our spiritual beliefs (including the lack thereof), or where we came from, or how recently, we all have a stake in the experiment that is our country.
And that every generation inherits the obligation to honor those concepts and that unity-in-diversity that has brought this nation to such vibrant life, if we are truly to honor their sacrifice.
IMAGE CREDITS: Many thanks to News of Mill Creek and the City of Edmonds, WA, for the “Memorial Day Remember and Honor” image; to Bonnie K. Hunter and her Quiltville.com website, via Memorial Day Image.com , for the quilt-backed expression of Memorial Day’s purpose; to Funeral One, for the illustrated Schopenhauer and Albom quotes; and again to Memorial Day Image.com, for the closing “Thank You” image. Thanks also to LaRue Tactical, for the Featured Image U.S. Flag photo.