Monday, May 25, 2020

A beautiful life and other concepts

Today is Memorial Day and no one reading this needs me to tell you about the concept of the holiday.

In my family there is a vague understanding that the day is intended to mark the sacrifice of those Americans who fell while defending the Constitution of the United States of America. The practice in my family is to mark the passing of family members. On Memorial Day we place flowers on the graves of parents and grandparents, and we usually have some kind of a barbecue meal to do the "beginning of summer" thing. When I say we In mean we, including myself, because that's what we do as a family.

My Dad's cairn
It's a beautiful thing that we remember family dead and grill hamburgers on Memorial Day. The fact that the sacrifice of America's Defenders never comes up is perfectly okay. It's not wrong. It's simply what is. Our family never knew or met a single soldier who subsequently fell. The real death in service of real American fighting men and women is intellectually real to my family but it is not viscerally or emotionally real.

That's okay.

I believe and I've said before that I believe the fallen would want their sacrifice to help ensure the kind of societal landscape where Americans could have a chance at living beautiful lives, the kind of lives that the fallen freely gave up in support and defense of the Constitution. I don't believe that the fallen would place a high priority on ensuring that Americans celebrate Memorial Day a certain way. I do believe they would be and are satisfied that Americans in 2020 have the opportunity to embrace the blessings of Liberty. That's enough. It's what the founders wrote and believed, what the Constitution implies in framing our shared societal contract, and it's what is right and proper.

As for myself, I knew many of the Fallen. This is a day I think of David Wayne Cornell, whose living heart I held in my hands when it beat for the last time. I recognize the reality of the real sacrifice of the fallen. I have and I embrace the blessings of Liberty. That feels right and it feels beautiful. I have and live a beautiful life. As I walk my path the Fallen are ever near. Not in a maudlin way, but in a joyous and satisfied way. I feel like the Fallen embrace the imperfect Liberty we Americans practice and that they are pleased. I don't think they are overly concerned about imperfections in the America of 2020. I think that they understand the long game of ape-lizard civilization. I think they see that their sacrifice was not in vain.

Be well and embrace the blessings of liberty.


  1. Beautiful day out there on the Plains. It was nice here too, perhaps the cold and wet is finished for a while.

    If not? Well, Nature will have its way, won't it?

    1. We've continued cooler than usual and plant growth/maturity seems about 10 days behind normal. That's okay in my book, it's all good and nature provides a breathtaking show regardless of what she does.

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting Sarge!

  2. We do not "celebrate" Memorial Day, but rather "Observe" it.

    Especially for those who have served, this is a day to formally remember our comrades who did not make it home. Of course, we not only remember, we can hardly forget them, but this is a day when all can do it, family, friends, comrades in arms. And also strangers who know that freedom is not free; while they may not know the names, they know those who kept us free were someone's child, spouse, parent, friend or comrade.

    Today is the somber day. In November we will honor all veterans, the lucky and unlucky, those who served in combat, and those who served in peacetime, or went where their orders sent them, near or far from the front lines.

    As General of the Army Douglas MacArthur told the Cadets at West Point in 1962, in his inspiring (and extemporaneous) "Duty, Honor, Country" speech:

    "[T]he soldier above all other people prays for peace, for he must suffer and bear the deepest wounds and scars of war. But always in our ears ring the ominous words of Plato, that wisest of all philosophers: "Only the dead have seen the end of war.""

    As we share our memories of the fallen, remember that undoubtedly, he would have done the same for us.
    John Blackshoe

    1. Beautiful synopsis John, thanks for sharing that here.

      I have so many names and faces in my soul it's crazy. I look around and see what they've bought with their lives and i'm okay. I don't have to feel only the pain anymore. I choose to live a beautiful life in large part to honor those men and women. They live on in our hearts and minds and in the majestic wonder of America.

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting!