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By Noemi Pollack

Memorial Day has become a family holiday. The barbecue is lit, the hot dogs are ready for the grill, and the flags and noisemakers are out. The festivities begin…It is fitting to celebrate the lives of those who gave up their own lives, for the rest of us to have peace.

But peace has become a fleeting thing…

It would seem that the horrors of WWII would have brought some world recognition that wars have no purpose other than to destroy for the sake of personal power. But no. There was Vietnam, Korea, Iraq, and Afghanistan. The brutality of war continues, now in Ukraine again upending lives… They are fighting for their country’s very existence. I shudder at the “memorial” that will again need to take place for those who have fought for 465+ days with no end in sight.

And for what? It is always the same.

Here we are with the horrors of scorched earth in Ukraine and hundreds of thousands killed and injured. Also, young Russian soldiers don’t even get why they are fighting in Ukraine in the first place. Nor why the young men who have been pulled off the Russian streets and become conscripts in a war they do not even understand.
And the result once more — decimated lives and decimated cities, with their historical buildings, monuments, and essence, gone…

And for what?

So, although a family day on Memorial Day brings togetherness, I, for one, who has walked on the wide stretch of green lawn in Normandy, France (the one that serves as a cemetery on Omaha Beach for the graves of more than 9,300 U.S. soldiers), will put the Memorial part of the day into front and center and take moments to reflect how it could have been and wasn’t, and isn’t.

The sadness of Memorial Day remains palpable…