“It is for you to try to be like them.”
Pericles’ Funeral Oration

I have to admit a problem that I’ve had with Memorial Day. I’ve often let my thoughts move too easily to the fact that some fallen warriors are not the best examples of what we want to remember. I’ve found myself thinking: were they all truly patriotic? Were they really brave, and willing to die? Or perhaps, did they die in a conflict where American soldiers should not have been there anyway?

And I am ashamed. They deserve more. From me.

The simple fact of their death should be enough. More than enough. Of course some who have fallen in the line of duty stand out as especially exemplary; and it is fitting that their stories are told and remembered in a special way. But a fundamental premise of Memorial Day is that all who have fallen are worthy to be honored. And perhaps above all, simply worthy to be remembered, with real gratitude.

They have died in the service of their country, which is my country. They have thus died for me. For me. So regardless of anything else, I resolve to remember them, to honor them, and to pray for them, and theirs. And even somehow to try to be like them.

Pericles (495-429 B.C.), a great general, statesman, and orator, ruled Athens during its Golden Age. Several of his speeches are recorded by Thucydides (460-395 B.C.) in his History of the Peloponnesian War. One of the most famous is the funeral oration for fallen Athenian soldiers.

Join the Community.

Become a LifeCraft Member and gain access to our online courses and exclusive content. It's FREE of charge. Period.

If you join as a contributing member, you will help make this content available to an increasing audience and enable me to spend more time in this work. I thank you in advance.

Join the LifeCraft community today and get access to:

  • Man of the Household (Course)
  • Woman of the Household (Course)
  • Concepts Made Clear (Mini-course)
  • Dinner at Home (Mini-course)
YOU MAY ALSO LIKE:
Need: The Hidden Key to Wealth

Need: The Hidden Key to Wealth

“Well, you see, my property is enough to supply me with all my needs...” Socrates, in Xenophon’s Estate Manager While Socrates was not destitute, the value of his estate was relatively low. Yet he expresses gratitude for his financial situation. He assures his friend...

read more
Something I Owe My Wife

Something I Owe My Wife

  “Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy.” Proverbs Our failure to see the natural roles of husband and wife has real consequences. This stands to reason. When we miss the difference and...

read more
Make Beauty, Rediscover Humanity

Make Beauty, Rediscover Humanity

“Beautiful things are those which please when seen.” Thomas Aquinas, Summa theologiae This much is clear if we have eyes to see: beauty is a first principle in the formation of the world. We could even say it is the principle. The natural world and all its processes...

read more

Pin It on Pinterest