A Day to Remember

at 12:35 AM

I do not know what to make of Memorial Day, a day where the media’s messages are about store sales, miles driven, and gas prices that consumers—not citizens, but consumers—will face as they fill up on the way out of town.

I do not know what to make of a day we view as a day for vacations and barbecues, instead of taking time out to remember and honor those who served, especially those who died in combat, defending our freedom.

I find it confusing because some who died fought a war I protested.

I joined the protests in San Francisco because my nephew Mike, our family's flesh and blood,  would be sent to fight as an infantryman, and would bear the brunt of the death, both inflicted and suffered, caused by this war.

I marched because, along with millions of others, I did not believe we were being told the entire truth of the reasons for war, that Mike and his buddies were being sent in harm's way for less-than-honorable reasons.  It angered me. It doesn't make me feel better that it turns out that indeed not only the lives of human beings were sacrificed in this struggle.

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But it is a day to remember, even with a war I protested. Perhaps especially with a war I protested.

Here are some names of those who died in that war. They fought next to Mike before they themselves were killed.

Nathan. Kirk. Brad. Todd. David. Gentian. Nick.

In a speech Mike gave, years after coming back from war, he said, “It is crucial not to blame the warrior for the war—and do not confuse policy made in Washington with the bravery of those who serve overseas.”

I try to take his words to heart. Yet in the middle of criticizing policy and protesting war, I’m not sure how best to honor these soldiers. But I can at least try.

May these young men rest in peace. I will remember them as best I can.

With a Perspective, I'm David Christopher.

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David Christopher is a storyteller from Sonoma County who focuses on modern creation stories.

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