BLOG 304 May 30, 2016 MEMORIAL DAY
Memorial Day: A time to remember.
On this day of sacred remembrance, we pause to consider what war has cost us. In the United States, we remember the fallen who fought for our highest values. While the rest of the world has other days of commemoration, universally we salute those who gave their lives and pause in thankful prayer for their sacrifices.
The Syrian Civil War has sent an entire population running for their lives to other countries while a countless multitude have fallen, many into unmarked graves. In Israel, knife attacks have killed 34 Israel soldiers and 190 Palestinians. Palestinian Authority (PA) leader Abbas and the Hamas leaders shed no tears but don’t want the confrontations to flair up and spin our of control. The 2014 Gaza war cost their side far too much.
Today the suffering and misery of the 1.8 million Gazan’s who live in 365-square kilometer ghetto is unbearable. Suicides in Gaza increase everyday. The water is undrinkable and there is no electricity. When a group of refugees attempted to escape across the Mediterranean, their boat capsized and left 500 to drown. Death is a daily specter in the Gaza Strip.
In addition, the war in Gaza left behind a construction crisis. One hundred and thirty thousand homes were destroyed or damaged. To keep Hamas from confiscating cement, iron rods, and construction materials for building attack tunnels, Israel put in place an embargo. Israel and the United Nations have a computerized system to monitor any supply of cement that comes into the Gaza. The result is that the area is in total collapse and looks as devastated as the day the war ended.
Where is it all going? Nowhere. Oh, enough despair exists to produce another uprising. From the Israeli point-of-view, the Palestinians are too dumb not to get the point that more attacks will only result in death. From the Palestinian perspective, they have no other alternative but to die fighting. The result? More death for everyone.
Such terrible alternatives have pushed the world into war after war. Remember the social protest popular song of the 70’s Where Have All the Flowers Gone? ending with, “when will they ever learn?”
On this Memorial Day, may it be a time to learn and demonstrate that we had better understand. We have already stood at more than enough grave sites. Let us commit ourselves to seeking the higher road to peace and being unafraid to walk down the nobler pathway.