A Memorial of Memorial Day

War creates such terrible nightmares. When I listen to veterans talk about their war experiences or read accounts of people who have survived a war, I always cry. Even when I'm not pregnant. I remember in college reading accounts of things that happened during the war in Somalia and wanting to vomit. I recently watched a documentary on Darfur, and I had similar feelings. How can a human being become so beastlike so quickly? What happens to conscience? At what point does a person stop seeing people as human and start seeing them as things?

I know veterans have to adopt this mindset to a certain extent when they fight in wars in order to psychologically survive. However, I have to believe that this does not make all soldiers beasts. I think veterans are the only people who come close to understanding the value of life the way a mother does. I also think that war's oppressive weight often gives birth to overwhelming goodness and peace in war's survivers. They are tired. They want rest. They know peace because they understand what life can become in its absence. I think many of them choose to find hope for a better world and then live accordingly. I have often wondered if all world leaders were mothers and veterans, would they be as quick to go to war when confronted with difficult situations?

Anyway, I thought about all these things this Memorial Day. I think this is the first time I have ever truly celebrated the intent of the holiday. :) My brother-in-law and grandfather both served in wars, so that also helped personalize my thoughts. Since Kurt was out of town, Madi, Max, and I stayed close to home. We went to the parade in Cambridge, and I cried and cheered and yelled 'thank you!!' to all the veterans who marched by us. I know I'm crazy, but I just couldn't help myself. It helped that my sidekick (Madi) was right next to me doing the same thing. :) Here are some highlight pictures.

Waiting for the parade to start...

Madi's reaction to all the bands and costumes

Max's response

First group of veterans. Sorry, Karl, I was too busy crying and telling Madi how great you were to get a shot of the Iraq group.

Cambridge High marching band

Cambridge City Police Force

What parade is complete without bagpipes?

And of course, no New England parade would be complete without people in period costume with bayonets. :)

The only group to throw candy... Madi was thrilled!!


merathon said…
oh-- great memories of when we went to that parade in cambridge in 2005! glad you had a good holiday even without kurt. i feel your pain-- patrick wasn't out of town but worked all day long which is almost as bad!
Mimi said…
I love the picture of Max in his stroller. It looks like this parade might be a notch up from the parades that wound through downtown Batesville.
Amy & Greg said…
Beautiful! Loved reading. I always wonder about the General Authorities who have fought in wars and what a difference that has made in their lives. Incredible!

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