Memorial Day: Remembering and forgetting

Submitted by Jerry Halberstadt on Sun, 06/02/2013 - 15:46

It was a great day for a parade.


A day for remembering, but also of forgetting.

I had never stayed to hear Memorial Day speeches right to the end, so this was interesting and meaningful to me, and a privilege to be a citizen of Peabody. We memorialize those who died to serve and protect our safety and our freedoms. It was moving to see the regret of the elderly woman for whom this was the first parade in which she did not herself march, her pride in seeing her son marching, her great-grandchild for whom bagpipes were much too loud, and the rapt attention of the audience, and to sense the emotion evoked by the playing of taps and the salute to the flag. And to see so many of our leaders gathered together with four generations of the community in common purpose.

My personal thought: Thankfully, we have minimized if not erased many forms of prejudice, so we can ignore once-divisive differences. But we too often forget those most in need of community support. We need as a nation to better serve our veterans, and we need to pay better attention to the life and liberty of the poor, the elderly, and the disabled and to assure decent lives for all our citizens.

Our fallen soldiers fought to preserve freedom for all. Let us honor them by assuring jobs for veterans and care for their physical and emotional scars. Let us find the will to give respect to the members of our community who are overlooked today.