I recognize that not everyone has a National Cemetery close at hand to visit. And I know I just shared with you the one near me.
But that was before volunteers placed flags on the graves of our veterans. Flags that glow when the sun is just rising on the Sunday before Memorial Day.
And because you couldn’t all get there I decided to go for you, and for me, to see those glowing flags and reflect for a moment or two what it all means.
What does it mean, on this Memorial Day weekend, that so many people are on opposite sides of so many issues leaving no middle ground to talk?
Yet, both sides profess to love this country, a country that allows for differences of opinions. Just, apparently, not those opinions so different than our own.
When you walk among the white headstones in the early morning light, alone with no sound but the birds and a distant train, you have to wonder if we’re all so very different. If maybe, rather than different, we’re just stubborn.
Still. I know it’s complicated, I have strong opinions too. Things that seem so obvious to me. But, it turns out, things seem obvious to the other side too.
Talking louder doesn’t make you right. Or wrong for that matter. Just louder.
In this quiet place, on this quiet morning louder seems obscene. Even the birds and animals that roam here at night are quietly moving to the outskirts as the sun comes up, willing to give the place back to the humans for their special day. We might learn from them how to share the world.
Live and let live. Both sides. Everyone.
It’s easier to listen in the quiet, and it’s quiet out here. So many people, so many families represented. So many stories to be told if we care to listen.
The folks out here cared enough to give a part, or the whole, of their lives to keep this country safe. And strong. We should care enough not to harm it now. We need to stop yelling, trying to make our point, and quiet ourselves the better to listen.
So many people are missed this holiday weekend. So many families bear the burden and deserve our respect and understanding.
Both sides must move toward the middle in order to preserve what these families gave to us.
It’s a choice we each have to make within ourselves. Find a quiet place this weekend and think about what it all means to you.
And if your family is missing someone today…know that we’re all out here sending you hugs.