Sunday, May 27, 2012

Memorial Day: Indy 500 and the Honored Dead

America loves Memorial Day.  The Indy 500, Danika Patrick, "Back Home Again in Indiana", Milk drinking for the Indy winner, A. J. Foyt,  Roger Penske, Jim Nabors, the pole sitter and the position 33 starter come to mind when thinking of the weekend.

The red poppy, cemeteries, flags on graves, the VA parade and memorial speaker, military uniforms, VA hospital patients in wheel chairs watching the parade also come to mind.

As a child, I remember Memorial Day cookouts while listening to the Indy 500 on the radio.  Now the race isn't on Memorial Day, but on Sunday during the federally legislated 3 day holiday weekend.  It's on TV and we can see each driver's dashboard for speed and other data.  We get lots of information and the race takes less time than in the slower years.

At 3 PM, on Memorial Day, everyone is supposed to recognize a moment of silence to honor those who died in the nation's service.

The contrast between the noise and speed of the Indy 500 and the eternal peace of the honored dead is consistent with the awesomeness of America and our many cultures and world-wide paradoxes.  We can love it, sing about it, protest it, lament it, Facebook it, Tweet it, Blog it, live for it and/or die for it but it persists as America.  It is us and we are it.  May God bless it and forgive it and bless it again and give His peace to our hearts where Memorial Day has a special meaning, even for the honored dead.  Thanks be to God for their service and sacrifice.

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