By Hipolito Munoz, Managing Editor
What does Memorial Day mean to us as non-military folks? We are a society with warlike attitudes, which have been fostered for decades by people that have taken the horrors of war and violence and glamorized them. Those that have never experienced the tragedy of war have converted violence into engaging entertainment. The tragedy is that most civilians have hooked on to the “glory” of combat instead of the tragedy of death. There are many in our society that would turn our country into a war zone because it feels appropriate and even exciting to them. What they do not understand is that those who have served or who will serve, will do so because they feel the truth of our country, it allows for the “pursuit of happiness,” and at times joining the military is a pathway.
Most folks, seem to know someone who has served in the military, but their contact is limited and the knowledge is limited to a couple of questions and the usual comment about thanking them for their service. Most do not understand nor care to uncover the cost to the soul of the servicemen or servicewoman that experienced trauma at its worst. It’s hard for people to understand the complications and the disconnection that is created by what military folks are expected to navigate and deal with by civilians who send them to war, often some of those civilians have experienced the horrors of war themselves.
Most military folks, current and former, have experienced the expectation to navigate through rough emotional and physical terrains, and move on to the next challenge without taking time to heal those injuries. Memorial Day has now become for those that have served in war a time to remember those that have fallen, because they were their friends. Most civilians though, have now succumbed to the Hot Dogs and Beer marketing that runs most of our daily lives.
Memorial Day is for us to remember those that have died in war. Many times those veterans that served with them are numb because they survived. The best way to remember and to honor those fallen, is to get to know those that survived better, and to take care of those that survived the trauma of war. Those that have fallen would have expected for the larger US society to fulfill its promises to take care of them but society has allowed dismissive attitudes of their political representatives to dismiss the pain and the hurt of those that should be cared for in respect of those that died along their side.