Memorial Day weekend is a time for all Americans to recall the sacrifices of those who died in service to our country and the higher ideals of freedom and democracy. It is especially poignant this year when so many have died (more than 100) fighting tyrrany in Iraq. Whatever your belief on the justness of the war itself, we should honor those Americans and our allies who died over there. They gave their lives that others may be free, free from tyrrany and domination, free from terror and threat. And ever since 9/11, we add to that roll of remembrance, those who have died on our soil fighting terrorism, including the brave police and firemen of New York and the passengers and heroes of Flight 93.
The White House has set up the Commission on Remembrance, whose mission is to inspire acts of remembrance all year long, not just Memorial Day. In the ancient Jewish understanding—an understanding that extends into the Sacrament of the Eucharist—a memorial makes the thing remembered present again, so that the memorial of Christ’s sacrifice makes Him present again. And so, let us memorialize our honored dead to make them present with us in their spirit of self-sacrifice, embodying all that makes America noble and good. And for at least one weekend, let’s try not to focus on what’s bad in America, that brings her down.
On Monday we are encouraged to pause at 3 pm local time for a moment of silence wherever we may be. In some places there will be the playing of Taps or the National Anthem. Since 3 pm is also the hour of Divine Mercy, the hour of Christ’s sacrifice, it might be appropriate to pause for a Chaplet of Divine Mercy or a Rosary for all those who have died. We remember.