Here in the United States, tomorrow is Memorial Day, when we honor those who gave their lives in war. It is a sobering, and important, opportunity for reflection on sacrifice and gratitude.
And while we prepare to mourn those losses, there are also unprecedented losses in another struggle. This morning, The New York Times printed the names of 1000 people who have died from COVID-19. The entire front page, and two additional pages, were devoted to the names and brief details of their lives.
I’ve been reading the list throughout the morning, and it is a very emotional experience.
The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines “memorial” as “serving to preserve remembrance”. Today, I find myself in a memorial attitude, focusing on remembering the tragic loss of life in both history and the present moment. I am also cognizant of the fact that losses in conflict and disease are not limited to my home country, but affect the entire world.
The need for remembrance is not an issue of nationality or politics, but a fundamental part of what makes us human. I hope that we all devote some time to reflection and memorial.
Stay safe. Be well. Take care of yourselves and each other.