Message for Memorial Day


May 26, 2007

With Memorial Day upon us, we are a nation at war. If you could give a Memorial Day message, what would it be?

As we observe this solemn day, we must remember all the brave men and women in uniform who gave their lives in the service of our country. Today, we are once again a nation at war — and sadly, the conflict in Iraq seems to have no clear end in sight. We find ourselves locked in fierce debate over the war's legitimacy, with the American people sharply divided between supporters and opponents. This internal strife makes it more difficult to find common ground and observe Memorial Day as a country united.

In the Book of Ecclesiastes, King Solomon states that there is a time for everything and a season for every activity under Heaven. Following this wisdom, my message for the holiday is simple: On this occasion, let us focus on one thing and one thing only — honoring the memory of our fallen.


For one day, we need to put aside our opinions about Iraq. We need to look beyond our current differences and focus on the enduring bonds we share as Americans. In a sense, our individual views on Iraq are irrelevant here, since the broad principle of memorializing the dead transcends any particular conflict. Each of us should pay respects to the men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice to benefit our blessed country and its fortunate citizens.


Chabad Jewish Center

Imagine we are celebrating the last Memorial Day. There will be no more war bonds, no more war memorials to build and no more military cemeteries plotted in which to bury the dead. That is what will happen when there is peace on earth. Now that will be something for all to celebrate.

Remembering and respecting those who have died for God and country is currently ushered in with red, white and blue Memorial Day parades, explosions of new Hollywood summer blockbusters, speeches by politicians, ice cream and lemonade.

Somehow, this has all been part of the response to war. There is an acceptance that there will be war. There is a yearly recognition and celebration that people will die due to war.

War seems a justified part of civilization.

Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard was very clear on war from his first best seller published in 1950 on the eve of the Cold War.

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