“The worst part of holding the memories is not the pain. It’s the loneliness of it. Memories need to be shared.” -Lois Lowry, author of The Giver
Today is the annual celebration of Memorial Day in the United States, a tradition that began after the Civil War to honor those who lost their lives in battle. The day has always been meaningful to me because my father was a Marine who fought in the South Pacific in World War II. Although my father survived, many of his generation did not. The day brought back memories as long as he lived.
Americans have been involved in many battlegrounds since that time. We have over 23 million living veterans of past wars, many still suffering from both physical and psychological wounds, and 1 1/2 million still deployed around the world. When you add to these numbers all of the loved ones whose lives have also been affected–parents, siblings, grandparents, spouses, children–the magnitude is overwhelming.