On Memorial Day, let us actually remember

Like many schools across America, one of my children's schools had a Memorial Day concert today. They do this every year, and I've been to the last few. Usually I find these events very jingoistic, and I sort of dread them because my view of this country is, shall we say, nuanced. I love America, but in a very disappointed sort of way. It's like having a once beautiful, intelligent and wonderful mother turn into a sleazy alcoholic or something. Watching little kids sing love songs to her? Well, it's tough.

But I have to say, this year was a little different. The kids were the same, but the adults seemed different to me. I swear there was a grim determination underneath all the polite applause. People love this country. They understand. They know we are living tragedy on a national scale. And I think the sword, the terrible swift sword has begun to pierce them, and they feel a pain that cannot be named. But it hurts, and it hurts deeply.

I expect things to get much, much worse before they get better; but today, for the first time in a very long time, I swear I felt an undercurrent of resolve in my fellow Americans. I have to tell you, it was a beautiful thing. Maybe I imagined the whole thing, but I hope not.

I hope this Memorial Day we will remember what all the fine words we hear and read actually mean. Not the Orwellian meanings, but the true meanings.

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