The other day I watched an ant towing a dead comrade back to the nest for several minutes. He strove mightily over a pebbled driveway. It reminded me of what I’ve been wanting to write about Memorial Day; I hope it’s not too soon.
I have long wondered why a day to honor those US military people who died in war has not also been a day to advocate for an end to war.
So there will be no more people dying in wars.
Where I live, the Memorial Day parade has a lot of people in uniforms and ends with the firing of rifles.
Which makes me think of war, not the end of war. And which scares the young children and dogs that are always brought along.
I prefer Hawaii’s tradition: setting lamps afloat on the ocean on Memorial Day.
Keith Kamisugi describes the tradition, started in 1999, in his blog, #Hawaii:
“The special gathering allows people a personal moment to remember, reflect and offer gratitude to those who have gone before us. It is also a collective experience where families, friends and even strangers reach out with love and understanding to support one another.
“Lantern Floating Hawaii helps to open hearts in an experience that transcends the human boundaries that usually divide us.”
You can see the 2016 commemoration here: Lantern Floating Hawaii The practice comes from Japan and is centuries old. Lanterns are set floating every year at Hiroshima’s Peace Park and in Nagasaki. There are also places in the US at which organizations such as the Fellowship for Reconciliation follow the practice on August 6.
What do you think? I, for one, would rather be remembered with floating lanterns than with rifle shots.