I’ve alwaysÂ admired the veteran organizations who organize Memorial Day events and the people who came out toÂ watch.Â To give up their time on the first holiday of the summer isÂ admirable.
I have not made it to this event forÂ a fewÂ years and wonder if it has changed any with theÂ new generations of war veterans.Â One would expect, perhaps, some subtle changes.
At such affairs, aÂ Chaplain always offers some remarks and prayers.Â For most of the two centuries of U. S. wars, there has been an assumtion that soldiers are Christians. There is the saying that, “There are no atheists in the foxhole.”Â
As far as I know, nearly all graves at military cemetaries are marked with crosses, except the occasional Star of David for Jewish soldiers.Â Yet, apparently there has always been about ten percent of the population that is skepticalÂ and it would be reasonable to assume the same is true of soldiers killed in battle.
The crosses on military graves represent what the majority of the public wanted placed there, not necessarly what the fallen soldiers themselves might have wanted.Â The same is true for what is included in the cememonies on Memorial Day.Â
One would expect that as secularism asserts itself in our society, we will see more of it in military ceremonies.Â It will be good on Memorial Day, in my opinion, to focus on the tragedy of war and of the lives lost, regardless of what the fallenÂ may or may not have believed.