Memorial Day Message

I watched President Biden’s Memorial Day Speech today. It is the best speech I have heard from him thus far. Here are a few of the highlights for me:

He talked about the Right of Remembrance. He may have meant “Rite”, but I thought about the current efforts in the country to keep particular parts of our history out of the history books our children will be using in schools. Every community’s history needs to find a place in those books. Our children should know the truth even the bad so that we can learn from mistakes and continue to grow.

He refers to the United States of America as “the Great Experiment.” Of all expressions this stirs patriotism in me the most. This nation is attempting to make a democracy work in a world where many in the world believe it can’t. It takes work, honesty, willingness to tell the truth and to change when needed. This phrase stirs me to be part of those who keep trying to make the country better.

“They died for us, for the freedom to…” I have heard this phrase multiple times. This morning I ask myself “freedom to do what?” For many Americans, it mean freedom to do whatever they want. But Biden stressed the importance of oneness…which for me, means caring for our fellow Americans. It is the golden rule applied. As I seek my own freedom, I seek the freedom of all Americans, especially those who have been deprived of their rights thus far.

He said, “Empathy is the fuel of democracy.” YES! As I implied above, Democracy only works if we are working for one another as much as for ourselves. Empathy is the capacity to see and feel experience from another person’s vantage point.

This was my favorite: “Every year we get a little more inclusive.” This gave me hope. When we are studying history, we need to tell the truth about the harms we have done, yes, but we need to also acknowledge the lessons we have learned and the improvements along the way. Sometimes I lose sight of these and that is when my patriotism wanes.

Today I thank those who gave their lives for my country. I hope to make their sacrifice worth it as I try to work with others toward the American ideal:  One Nation Under God, Indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for all.

6 thoughts on “Memorial Day Message”

  1. Great thoughts, Judy, thanks. I wonder who wrote that speech for him and if he read it first before he spoke it. Just curious.
    PBS had a wonderful tribute on yesterday, several times, giving tribute to all who have served and also those who lost their lives. Catch it if you can if its on again. I especially liked how they honored the women who served, especially Nurses, and some gals there representing Nurses.
    On a different note, but similar, I struggle with WHY if Jesus died on the cross for our sins, why is there so much war, death, crime and sin going on that we are also suffering . I thought the debt was paid yet we are still suffering in terrible ways, and no one is exempt. Your thoughts on this might help . Thanks.

    1. A lot of thinking going on. Actually no president writes their own speeches. Biden would have not only read it but practiced it. I doubt that he would say something he himself didn’t believe. I happen to like this president. I think he has a big heart, no matter what folks think of the work he is doing. I know everyone has their own take on any president.

      Bernie and I watched the memorial concert…it is an annual tradition for us. We always get teary eyed. I too liked the honoring of the nurses.

      As for Jesus dying for our sins, that is a tough one. I don’t think his dying ended evil in the world (clearly it didn’t), but his dying for me in some way helped me to overcome the evil in my own life. As I live this new life in which love seems to flow more easily, it is my hope that that somehow makes a difference in the world. So I guess I believe that evil is overcome through us. You have my book, right? Notice the prayer written by Teresa of Avila in the back (135). This expresses what I believe.

      1. Thank you for your thoughts again. Yes lots of thinking going on, especially by me!
        Concert is also yearly for us and also teary, I recommend it to all when I can.
        Do believe that goodness is lived through each of us as I find this a bit challenging for me , not because I don’t try goodness all the time but it is difficult when others don’t.
        I do have your book and will look up the prayer 🙏

        1. Yeah. It is painful to watch people hurting one another in their words and actions. This is where my faith comes in. If I follow the will of my Higher Power, I try to put the rest in God’s hands, including all the areas where I cannot do anything. It is hard. But I also try to open my eyes to seeing goodness where it is happening. That gives me hope. My favorite prayer to live by is the serenity prayer.

  2. Thank you Judy once again for helping me to stop and listen and think. I like your insight!!
    Peace and Hope,
    Kathy

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