Friends, Family, and Loved Ones.

As we prepare for this Memorial Day; a time to honor and thank all of those who sacrificed their lives to assure that our American society could continue, I would like to take a few minutes to propose a little thought experiment.

My purpose is to cast neither blame nor judgement but rather to inspire contemplation and encourage conscious choice in our celebratory behavior.

Many of us will gather in groups, Monday, to pay tribute to our fallen ancestors. Imagine you are there, in that gathering now, well before you actually arrive. Think about this example, and let your conscience be the guide to your personal behavior.

Picture in your mind, the celebratory environment you plan. Imagine the size of the crowd. Think about the personalities of the people with whom you will be gathering. Consider their occupations and the number of people they must interact with daily and the closeness of those interactions. Contemplate, based on those factors, how many of the people gathered will be wearing masks and how many will not. Honestly and fearlessly reflect on whether you or your immediate family will be masked or unmasked. Do you have that image firmly in your mind?

Now comes the hard part- please read the remainder with an open mind and do not assume any prejudice!

Imagine that at the culmination of the celebration, a time comes for everyone in the crowd to draw a handgun and fire all rounds straight up, into the air- kind of a all guns salute to the fallen. Appropriate, since we are honoring those who fell in battle to assure our freedom.

Thinking back of the image you formed earlier of your holiday crowd, imagine that all those wearing masks are firing blanks and all those without are firing live rounds.

Ask yourselves, in all honesty, would you wish that you and your family, friends, and loved ones were also wearing military helmets or had, even, chosen to celebrate somewhere else?

A Beacon for Peace

Let this tree stand tall

An icon for all cultures

Monument to peace

~

Пусть это дерево стоять в полный рост

Значок для всех культур

Памятник мира

~

دع هذه الشجرة تقف شامخة

رمز لجميع الثقافات

النصب التذكاري للسلام

~

בואו העץ הזה לעמוד זקוף

סמל לכל התרבויות

אנדרטה לשלום

~

इस पेड़ लंबा खड़े हो जाओ

सभी संस्कृतियों के लिए एक आइकन

शांति के लिए स्मारक

~

讓這棵樹站高

所有文化的圖標

和平的紀念碑

~

この木を高くしてみましょう

すべての文化のアイコン

平和への記念碑

~~~~~~

Image and poem ©2016

by Andy Garrabrant

Please feel free to correct my offered translations. I am no linguist and I know that “Google Translate” often falls short in translation. I welcome both literal and figurative translation.  Thank you.