I Will Not Say Happy Memorial Day
I will not say "Happy Memorial" day to those who have served or in honor of those who have gave their lives.
I will not listen to twangy, patriotic music today.
I will not have a barbecue and stand aimlessly around with friends and family and list all of the things we should do for those who have served.
If you want to, that is your choice, your liberty, your freedom to exercise.
It is also my choice not to say those ill-fitted words.
I am a pacifist.
I believe in living in peace and harmony and choosing not to fight.
The whole turning the cheek so my enemy can slap the other one? That's me.
Once again, I refuse to say "Happy Memorial" day.
It sits weirdly on the tongue.
It is bringing a misguided happy to where we should be reverent and somber.
It is congratulating someone for going through hell with a weak wordly compense.
I will say Thank You.
Thank you to our troops past and present.
Our neighbors, our parents, our children.
Our men and women who serve and who have served our country.
Who have trained their bodies and minds, strengthened their endurance and resolve, fought fights internally and externally.
Most citizens have no clue what that is like and never will.
It should not come as a surprise that I have been called a hypocrite because I support our troops and claim to be a pacifist.
I am not one to explain why I believe or do not believe because it is my choice, my freedom, my liberty to believe in any way I please because of great men and women who fought for our rights.
I also believe in not judging people and their lives.
Choosing not to judge anothers path in life whether peaceful or warrior.
Just choosing to love them for who they are no matter what part of their journey they are on.
As much as I would love to be part of an utopian society where we wage war intellectually rather than putting a bullet in our neighboring countries' men and women, I am well aware that is not a tangible reality for us yet.
Maybe one day we could rise above it, somehow, some way.
We will one day not envy the man with the bigger stick, we will not have to fight for those societies do not speak for, we will not wage war and allow the only winner, death, to claim his spoils.
Maybe one day we will not need to train men and women how to kill and cause mayhem so effectively.
That is not the world we live in now though.
We live in the real world.
Where bad people do bad things and there are good people who take initiative to help the persecuted, the forgotten, the harmed, the hunted.
And I support them.
I will always support them.
But I don't think a day like today will truly support our active and retired service men and women.
There is so much more we can do than simply post a picture of a flag and condemn others for enjoying their freedom at a barbecue or a party.
I will say thank you again and again to those lives are forever changed.
To the mothers that send their children off to war and never get to plan a welcome home party-thank you.
To the wives and husbands who are left to live and function while their other half is doing only God knows what-thank you.
To those who have seen things your memory can never forget and very few people can relate to-I am sorry and extremely grateful.
But we can do so much more than remember those who fought for us, who bled for us, who suffer from nightmares and flashbacks, who gave a part of themselves than simply remember them a couple days a year.
Make your actions concordant with your beliefs.
Help your money transform from that greedy green into the regal red, white and blue.
You may not have served and never will but you can do a lot more for those who would willingly lay down their life for yours.
Recently the Veterans Administration came under fire for not getting our veterans in for appointments they needed and they died.
A good percentage of our homeless population is made up of veterans who have served our country.
Many veterans come home and need jobs and careers.
There are veterans who cannot cope with what they've seen, what they've been through and need help.
A verbal thank you will do nothing for them.
Your gratitude expressed in a donation, time volunteering, demanding your congressmen to change laws, expressing your discontent at how our veterans get treated-will do something.
Choosing not to be silent will do something.
Forcing people to start a conversation about the awkwardness that is us putting veterans on pedestals for a few national holidays and forgetting them every other day will help change our society, our system, our treatment of our unsung heroes.
Thank you to those who are forgotten, who society rejected, who sleep on the streets, who suffer physically and mentally, who don't know who you are anymore, who long for the brotherhood/sisterhood you became addicted to while serving, who cannot seem to adjust to civilian life.
Thank you and I am sorry we have not returned the favor to you but we can and will work on it.
No more silly promises when filled with patriotism.
I will put my money where my mouth is.
No more using not having time for an excuse.
I will show my gratitude to those who feel forgotten.
I will support my troops.
I will gladly be labeled a hypocrite.
To see how you can help our veterans please visit this website: