Monday, May 31, 2021

A Memorial Day Wish

Watery reflections taken a few years ago
(c) Voie de Vie
Today is Memorial Day here in the United States - a time to honor those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for the country.

I have blogged a few times over the years regarding Memorial Day. This year - some 15 months into pandemic times - I am thinking about how things could and should be different going forward.

Of course the most obvious - an expansion of what it means to serve and sacrifice - and how should we recognize such service and sacrifice. This holiday was conceived to recognize military service, though many who have served (notably women and African Americans, although there are more) at various points have not received the recognition they deserve for either their service or their sacrifice. 
This Arlington National Cemetery
photos I snapped almost 2 decades
ago remains a favorites photo that
tugs at my soul. (c) Voie de Vie

Then, there is service to country beyond the military - governmental service, national civilian service, community service, international service, just to name a few others - how might we 
honor those who serve and sacrifice in these capacities?

More elementally, how might we honor black lives, and AAPI lives, and Native lives not only going forward, but pay more than mere lip service to all their respective peoples' legacies have lost at the hand of injustice and discrimination?

Finally, how might we, individually and collectively, move forward post-pandemic into a life of real meaning and justice? Where we value people and the planet above home delivery of all the things? Arundhati Roy's article on the pandemic as a portal has been oft-quoted since publication. Back in April, 2020, Roy was asking all the right questions, but it's unclear whether anyone was really paying attention:

        "The Covid crisis is still to come. Or not. We don’t know. If and when 
        it does, we can be sure it will be dealt with, with all the prevailing 
        prejudices of religion, caste and class completely in place." 

With almost 600,000 U.S. deaths, and an as-yet-unknown number dead in her own India in a second wave that has taken the world's breath away, Roy hit this nail squarely on its head with all the accurate writer's insight her years on this planet have given her. 

It can be different; we have the ability right now to walk through that portal into a different future. Will you? Will I? Will we? Only time and courage will tell. Let us hope for the very best, and do everything we can to manifest that different, very best future.

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