Remembering those served and those who died and those who left a part of them behind.
This Memorial Day is bringing up a wave of melancholy.
War and armed conflicts have taken a heavy toll on our world and our collective psyche.
So many people are touched and some seem broken beyond hope.
My heart goes out to all of you.
My dad was a Marine and fought in WWII. (I use "was" instead of "is" because my dad has passed on, and if you know Marines “once a Marine always a Marine”, even after being discharged from service.)
My dad’s brothers also served in WWII in the Navy. My Grandfather was Army Infantry in WWI, my great aunt was a WAC then too.
They saw tons of bad shit, but they were received as heroes when they came home. They proudly marched in parades on Veteran’s Day and Memorial Day.
I have fond memories as a kid watching my Grandfather walking at the head of parade honoring those who served. His eyes were teary and he wore a red poppy for remembrance, as we all did back then.
And although they may have served proudly, they never spoke about what they went through.
The only stories they shared were of more happy or benign moments. They shared about lousy living conditions and stale food, the great friends they made and pranks they’d play on other soldiers.
As a kid I wanted to hear all about how they fought in the war and felt frustrated that they wouldn’t share their stories of the front.
As an adult I understand they didn’t want to burden me with the horrors they witnessed and experienced and the inconsolable grief over friends they lost.
Here’s the thing though,
you can’t unsee whatever you saw,
you can’t undo whatever you’ve done or been through.
The memories and wounds live on.
(unless they are addressed, acknowledged and dealt with in a compassionate and healing way)
A part of my dad never left Okinawa. Whatever happened there was so horrific he couldn’t shake its ghost.
Friends and loved ones served during the Vietnam War. It was unspeakably harsh and insane. Those who did come home were changed for the rest of their life and perhaps for many lifetimes as they heal the massive wounds to their soul.
When these soldiers returned home, our country turned on them and treated them like pariahs. These broken soldiers were shunned and reviled rather than welcomed home. The collective guilt of the country poured over these brave beings that went to war, often against their will.
It was heartbreaking to watch this happen. One dear friend committed suicide several years after returning from Nam. Others were shells with hairpin triggers. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) wasn’t accepted as a real thing back then.
Friends also served in Desert Storm. They were treated a bit better.
None will talk about what they actually experienced in any war or military conflict. They talk around it and carry the emotional and psychological burden with them still. Some also carry the physical remnants (lost limbs, burns, shrapnel and so on).
This Memorial Day, I pray for all those who served throughout history… and I pray that those who have served during this life may find peace and the help that they need.
Will you join me in my prayer?
Memorial Day is about Remembering Those That Served...
PTSD is a real thing. And depression. Too many of our soldiers (men and women) die by their own hand after coming home alive.
War will change you. Many families are not equipped to cope with the changed person who comes home.
Can you find it in your heart to offer love and respect to these brave people who felt called or were drafted to serve in the military?
I think of myself as a warrior priestess. While I am all for peace, sometimes you have to fight for what you believe in.
Sometimes you have to say “No. I cannot let this continue.”
If walking away puts you in a place where you can’t live with yourself, perhaps it requires fighting for your rights or for justice or for the sake of humanity.
One thing I’ve learned on my trips around the sun on this beautiful blue planet is there is no clear black and white, right or wrong. There are so many in-between spaces.
Even when things seem to be very straightforward,
you are only ever seeing things from your perspective…
and through your own filters.
To understand an event or situation fully, it can only be seen from a much higher perspective because of all the bazillions of threads that connect to and ripple out from the epicenter.
If you change one or more things you are affecting multiple chains of events and timelines and people.
And you may never understand in this lifetime what it was all about,
what the bigger purpose was.
And you have to learn to accept this and be ok with that.
There is deep truth in the old sayings “looks are deceiving” and “you can’t judge a book by its cover.”
We only see what we see,
we only know what we know and what others may tell us.
And none of it may the truth.
How do you know whether to stand and fight or turn and walk away or sit down in passive resistance?
You must check in with your heart and trust the guidance you receive.
Is this your fight?
Is this your time to make a stand?
Is there anything you can do to make a difference for the highest and best?
You cannot fight for peace because the energy of fighting isn’t peaceful.
You can fight to break down the obstacles to peace and to preserve peace.
In Memory of Those Who Served
So for all of you everywhere in the world and throughout time who served and fought to preserve peace and break down the obstacles to peace, and open up pathways to peace in some way,
I salute you and thank you.
I appreciate your service and sacrifice, and the sacrifices that your loved ones had to make to support you.
May you find your own peace.
Many blessings to you.
PS. If this moved you in any way, I invite you to share my post with others and comment below. Thanks in advance.
If you'd like to learn more about PTSD and how we pass trauma down through genrations, here's a good article looking at the genetic aspects as well as healing trauma: Can Trauma be Passed on through our DNA? Learning to release trauma before we pass it on to the next generation.