Waging Peace: A Memorial Day March


In the course of time, mankind has gotten more efficient in the act of waging war. As technology has blossomed, the business of the Military Industrial Complex has embraced the tactical advantages of tech, and implemented it to great effect in terms of kill yield.

Think about that. Tech makes for a better, more efficient visit of the Grim Reaper upon our adversaries. But that comes at great expense, monetarily, and in other ways. Never think that anyone escapes reaping what has been sowed. No one does. Not individuals, not Nations.

We all can lose sight of our goals. It is just an illustration of entropic law really: to morph the message.

Today is Memorial Day. A day when we endeavor to reverse that. But as happens frequently over the course of the passage of time, we have turned the day to suit our own emotional needs, and possibly to assuage our sense of guilt, as well as loss.

Honor Bound
Honor Bound

Maybe we ought to think differently?

“We can‘t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them” – Albert Einstein

Here is a great piece written with a Historic perspective on Memorial Day. In it you may be surprised to learn that the Holiday was mandated during the Truman Administration, to be a National Day of Prayer for Peace.

Fly the Stone
Fly the Stone

Ever spend time in a National Memorial Cemetery? I have. I do, to this day. And not just on Memorial Day. Here is what happens.

I walk the graves. I pass my hand over the grave stones and feel the lettering, the coolness of the stone. I meditate on the life of each person there and those connected to that person, and the collateral damage to Family, Friends and our Nation.  Typically the experience makes me weep. But on a spiritual level, an anger and resolve embeds. These people were called, went, and ended their days in service. By proxy, that service was for me. So I did this. I killed them. I have a moral obligation to make damned sure that this level of sacrifice matters, moving forward. I, we, have a blood soaked trust.

There is a tendency in our Country to wave the flag. I appreciate that. I love our flag, and what it stands for. But I hope and yes, pray, that this Memorial Day, more people begin to understand that we have a moral responsibility to question our leadership. As a people, while tech spins out many of the key components of humanity and compassion, by virtue of it’s process, particularly as it implements death via modern warfare, we need to work on our own process.

Possibly as never before in human History, we need to reflect on our Philosophy and actions, and where those head us all, or we could be down a very dark alley, from which there is no return. Because as surely as the National Cemeteries are full of the bodies of our fallen, in EVERY Nation we go to war with, well, there are far greater numbers of dead, due to conflict.

Maybe we should reconsider our willingness to allow this?

Sacred Trust
Sacred Trust

I am genuinely concerned about what appears to be a grand disregard for Honor,  Sacrifice and Expense, on the part of Political Leadership. In this post modern rush at connection via net, I see us losing touch with our humanity, not drawing closer. It is not really what one would expect to occur, if ten years ago, someone were to tell you that a system was coming online, that would allow you to connect to anyone, anywhere at any time: that you would feel less, become calloused. The “net effect” is not intrinsically beneficial to humanity.

Seth Godin explains why.

So what can we do about that?

We could connect personally, and endeavor to impart accountability, honesty, and integrity. We could encourage, inspire, cajole and plead to “Please wake up my Nation. Let us wage peace.” It takes a strong country to do that. Let’s connect to that end. Let’s stop pandering to the weak, and let’s certainly refrain from electing them, or giving them too much of the moments of our own lives in the form of attention and money, as they endeavor to clamber into the Political arena and monetize their personal lives in process.

People seem to have forgotten that Political Office was not originally a life long career. Our Representative system of Governance was comprised of people who would serve, legislate and then return to Civil life to live under the legislation which they had created. You can see today the negative result of our Nation’s move away from this. The telltales lie dead in our National Cemeteries.

We need a more perfect Union, not more Politicians. As I studied this week, I researched the changes in both tone and example that occurred in the Legislative and Executive branches from Truman on through to today. In the course of that time, we have seen progressively less of the aspects of Leadership and far more of the tenets of reign, emerge.That appears to head us in the direction of more death, more damage to Families and our Nation. We seem to have become accepting of the inevitability of reign.

As you memorialize the fallen today, maybe think about the expense of that acquiescence, and begin to promote leadership. But here is the rub: it must begin with you.

Leadership is the judicious use of the power, wisdom and understanding, which as been entrusted to you, within the framework of your vision.

We need power, wisdom and understanding today. It is fairly simple to obtain. It comes from a relationship with God. Remember that funny exercise you did in grade school? That thing with the hand over your heart? The Pledge of Allegiance? We need to return to the essential, imperative truth in that.

Time to Pray. Time to lead. If not you, then who?

Memorial Day 2012, our National Day of Prayer for Peace, as we honor the memory of all of the fallen, and we are still standing.

Medal of Honor Holder, Col Lewis Millet
Medal of Honor Holder, Col Lewis Millet


Johnny Cash presenting a short, appropriate history, and performance of the Battle Hymn of the Republic. Yes we have a hymn for battle. That says a lot. The show was recorded in 1969. Doing this was incredibly gutsy while we waged “war” in Vietnam, and the pro peace movement made any allegiance to then President, Richard Nixon or anything to do with the War Machine, incredibly unpopular. Why did Cash do this? It was in the segue of the song: “I keep a  close eye on this heart on mine. I keep my eyes wide open all the time. I keep the ends out for the ties that bind. Because you’re mine, I walk the line”.

We must do that.


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