Memorial Day is a day to remember those who died while serving their country. It has turned into a different kind of holiday now. We remember all those who served and I remember my own father who did not die during his service in World War II but died decades later of natural causes. I remember my brother, who served in Viet Nam, and struggles still decades later with PTSD and Parkinson’s Disease and all that comes with those insidious conditions.
If we fail to remember those who have died before us we fail to think through the results of war and sending our service members into danger to ostensibly protect us all from harm. Some argue that wars in Iraq, Viet Nam and some others did not accomplish that end.
What about the war on our streets and in our homes? Evidence abounds that that is happening. Look at what just happened in New Orleans, as just one example of the hundreds and hundreds:
After the shooting stopped, the witness said, he saw one victim stumble out of the passenger side of the white car and collapse beneath the sign for the walking trail. A man exited the Kia, looked at a man slumped over the passenger seat of the white car, returned to the Kia and drove away.
Only then did the man in the white car move. “It was like he was playing dead until the shooter left,” said the witness said. “As soon as the burgundy car was gone, the driver opened the door and stuck his leg out, and I was just like, ‘Thank God’.” (…) “You have to be really bold to shoot someone in the middle of the day, with all these neighbors around, and drive off all slow and smooth,” the witness said. “I got a good look at that car, and the guy driving it. I was on the phone with 911 and told the dispatcher his license plate and everything. That’s a bold move, for real.” (…) “Never in a million years would I have expected to see something like this,” he said. “It’s scary. You never see anything like this. Stuff like this you see in movies and TV.
Bold? Crazy? Unthinkable? Senseless?
What kind of memories will these children have now?
And how about this child who narrowly escaped with a shrapnel wound when someone decided to go bowling while wearing his pistol?
You just can’t make this stuff up.
There are no “accidents” when it comes to weapons of war or weapons carried around by everyday Americans in places where people should be safe.
It’s real life right here in America on the day we celebrate the heroes and victims of wars.
Grabbing children to save them from incoming bullets?
All of the above and worse.
We have guns by the thousands and people by the thousands with those guns gunning innocent people down in places where we should be safe from this kind of war-like violence.
More Americans have died from bullets right here on our own soil than American service members have died in wars in defense of our country.
Where is common sense?
Who will save our children?
There is none when it comes to gun violence. Lapdog politicians play with us every day. They issue thoughts and prayers and think that is enough. In fact, the town of Santa Fe in Texas where 10 were gunned down by a teen using his father’s guns got together and tried to pray away the violence.
I am a Christian but I understand that prayers are just not going to do it.
It is a shameful Memorial Day when politicians will attend services for fallen service members but refuse to act to save us all from devastating violence right in our communities and schools.
We need action and we need it now.
Memories are painful for too many on this day. For our veterans. For our service members lost in wartime. For our children lost to school shooters. For our women lost in domestic shootings. For the innocent gathered in movie theaters, bowling alleys, hospitals, shopping malls, churches and in homes all over America.
There are memorials for our war heroes in our nation’s capitol and in cities all over America. And increasingly there are memorials now for victims of mass shootings.
We leave flowers. We ring bells. We light candles. We march.