Thursday, May 26, 2011

memorial day observation

A simple ritual for honoring veterans, conscientious objectors, and their families for Memorial Day:

Darnell Arnoult was born in Virginia, in 1955. She is a poet and novelist, and identifies as a “cow-girl, sort of.” Like her uncle, and many others in the south, she refers to the soft drink “Coca Cola” as “Co-cola.”

In World War Two
the oldest
of my uncles
picked up
dead bodies
dead weight
some in pieces
and threw them
onto the beds
of trucks.
His work spread
far as he could see.
When he came
home he poured
salted peanuts
into a Co-Cola
and prepared
for life
with folks
who could
never know
some things
as long
as they lived.

Let us now honor those who *do* know those things—-our veterans.

If you are on active duty in the Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marines, Merchant Marine or Navy, please stand and remain standing.

If you are a reservist in any of those branches, or in the National Guard, please stand.

If you are a veteran of any of the armed forces, please stand.

If you serve or served alternative service as a Conscientious Objector, please stand.

If someone in your family performs or performed alternative service, please stand.

If someone in your family is on active duty, please stand.

If someone in your family is or was in the reserve or the Guard, please stand.

If somebody in your family is or was a veteran of the armed forces, please stand.

...I invite us to look around, and see how many of us have been directly affected.

Finally, let the rest of us stand, as we are willing and able, in honor of all the veterans, women and men, who are still alive.

And may we remain standing as Bob plays “Taps” for all the veterans who have died.

May our gratitude for their sacrifice not diminish our resolve to create peace; and may our resolve for peace not diminish our gratitude for our veterans’ service. Please be seated.

Thanks to the Rev. Dr. Lisa Presley, who inspired this ritual.

(full post, with links, at So May We Be)


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