I have been listening very closely to my friends and co - workers talking about their plans for this Memorial Day weekend, and what I hear disturbs me greatly. Some are going to the beach, some to the mountains, and some are even leaving the country for the whole week. It sounds like their all going to have a wonderfully relaxing, long weekend. What I have not heard from a single person, however, is that any one of them is going to honor those who fought and died for our country and our way of life. This saddens me greatly ! These brave warriors gave the ultimate sacrifice so that we, their ancestors, could live in peace and freedom. They should never be forgotten, or ignored !
For most the Memorial Day weekend consists of three whole days. 72 hours of free time ! Why can't Americans just take at least one of those hours, and show their respect for our lost heroes by placing flowers at their town's memorial, or an American flag on the grave of a fallen soldier ? Have we become like the Romans who at the end of their empire were unable to think of anything but their own pleasure and selfishness ? Remember, one of the reasons the Roman Empire fell was because they became "soft", and paid mercenary troops to do their fighting for them, after their glory years were over. They had forgotten what it takes to maintain what you have won in war ! Memorial Day should be a yearly wake up call to remind us how much the road to freedom has cost us, and not seen as just an extra day off from work to take the kiddies down the shore !
Now I am not saying that all people are ignoring the true meaning of Memorial Day, and I am not saying that you can't do all those great things I listed above on these three days. I am just saying that some time should be set aside to honor those who fought and died for us. A wreath, a flower, a small American flag, and a few words of remembrance are not too much to ask for in my opinion. And a lot of people do just that ! But more and more I see people, especially those who are morally opposed to war, ignoring this day for its true meaning.
I actually have to work on Memorial Day this year so I will be laying flowers at the base of the Revolutionary War memorial, in Cranbury, on Sunday. I will open my runic book of rituals, which is black and looks a lot like a bible, and hold a ritual for the war dead. I will then walk about a hundred yards to the grave of my ancestor who fought in the Revolutionary War and place flowers there as well. The Daughters of the American Revolution always put flags on the graves so I do not have to do that. The D. A. R. and the S. A. R. are both a credit to our nation, and our fallen heroes. I perform an Asatru ritual for fallen warriors, and I say a few Christian words for my Presbyterian ancestor.
Even after all that I will still have 1 1/2 days to relax and enjoy myself. And remember that is what they fought for, only they called it "the pursuit of happiness." Most of all I will have the peace of mind of knowing that I did what was right and decent, by honoring those who fought, and died, for our freedoms. They did so much for us, let's make sure we show them the respect and honor they deserve !
Go with Odin's wisdom, Freyja's love and Thor's protection !