Memorial Day

Casual discussion amongst spiritual friends.

Memorial Day

Postby David N. Snyder » Mon May 25, 2009 3:13 pm

Today is Memorial Day in the U.S. which honors the dead, especially those who died in the many wars we have had.

Last night on the "60 Minutes" show Andy Rooney had a great commentary:

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2005/05/ ... 7964.shtml

Note the last paragraph:

"Remembering doesn’t do the remembered any good, of course. It's for ourselves, the living. I wish we could dedicate Memorial Day, not to the memory of those who have died at war, but to the idea of saving the lives of the young people who are going to die in the future if we don’t find some new way - some new religion maybe - that takes war out of our lives.

That would be a Memorial Day worth celebrating
."
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Re: Memorial Day

Postby Ben » Mon May 25, 2009 10:10 pm

That's a great sentiment, David.
Our own rememberance day, is Anzac Day, on the 25th April which is the anniversary of the Galipolli landing in 1915. As I have gotten older I have come to appreciate just what a profound impact Anzac Day has had on the Australian psyche and I think that impact has increased in recent years. Particularly among the younger generations who, although removed from the Great War and later wars, both commemorate the 'supreme' sacrifice of those who died and the sense of the absolute futility and senselessness of war.
Metta

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Re: Memorial Day

Postby genkaku » Mon May 25, 2009 11:18 pm

The old and graceful send the young and untried to places where they will be killed ... and seldom have the good grace to apologize or take responsibility.
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Re: Memorial Day

Postby David N. Snyder » Mon May 25, 2009 11:43 pm

This site shows where each soldier came from:

http://www.mapthefallen.org/

You need Google Earth 5.0 to view the map. There is a 'Sea' of people showing on the map -- tragic loss of life.

If you don't have Google Earth or don't want it, here is a video about it:

http://edition.cnn.com/2009/TECH/05/24/ ... nnSTCVideo
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The War Prayer

Postby pink_trike » Tue May 26, 2009 1:03 am

The War Prayer
by Mark Twain
written approximately 1904-05

---

It was a time of great and exalting excitement. The country was up in arms,
the war was on, in every breast burned the holy fire of patriotism; the
drums were beating, the bands playing, the toy pistols popping, the bunched
firecrackers hissing and spluttering; on every hand and far down the
receding and fading spread of roofs and balconies a fluttering wilderness of
flags flashed in the sun; daily the young volunteers marched down the wide
avenue gay and fine in their new uniforms, the proud fathers and mothers and
sisters and sweethearts cheering them with voices choked with happy emotion
as they swung by; nightly the packed mass meetings listened, panting, to
patriot oratory which stirred the deepest deeps of their hearts, and which
they interrupted at briefest intervals with cyclones of applause, the tears
running down their cheeks the while; in the churches the pastors preached
devotion to flag and country, and invoked the God of Battles beseeching His
aid in our good cause in outpourings of fervid eloquence which moved every
listener. It was indeed a glad and gracious time, and the half dozen rash
spirits that ventured to disapprove of the war and cast a doubt upon its
righteousness straightway got such a stern and angry warning that for their
personal safety's sake they quickly shrank out of sight and offended no more
in that way.

Sunday morning came -- next day the battalions would leave for the front;
the church was filled; the volunteers were there, their young faces alight
with martial dreams -- visions of the stern advance, the gathering momentum,
the rushing charge, the flashing sabers, the flight of the foe, the tumult,
the enveloping smoke, the fierce pursuit, the surrender! Then home from the
war, bronzed heroes, welcomed, adored, submerged in golden seas of glory!
With the volunteers sat their dear ones, proud, happy, and envied by the
neighbors and friends who had no sons and brothers to send forth to the
field of honor, there to win for the flag, or, failing, die the noblest of
noble deaths. The service proceeded; a war chapter from the Old Testament
was read; the first prayer was said; it was followed by an organ burst that
shook the building, and with one impulse the house rose, with glowing eyes
and beating hearts, and poured out that tremendous invocation

God the all-terrible! Thou who ordainest! Thunder thy clarion and
lightning thy sword!

Then came the "long" prayer. None could remember the like of it for
passionate pleading and moving and beautiful language. The burden of its
supplication was, that an ever-merciful and benignant Father of us all would
watch over our noble young soldiers, and aid, comfort, and encourage them in
their patriotic work; bless them, shield them in the day of battle and the
hour of peril, bear them in His mighty hand, make them strong and confident,
invincible in the bloody onset; help them to crush the foe, grant to them
and to their flag and country imperishable honor and glory --

An aged stranger entered and moved with slow and noiseless step up the main
aisle, his eyes fixed upon the minister, his long body clothed in a robe
that reached to his feet, his head bare, his white hair descending in a
frothy cataract to his shoulders, his seamy face unnaturally pale, pale even
to ghastliness. With all eyes following him and wondering, he made his
silent way; without pausing, he ascended to the preacher's side and stood
there waiting. With shut lids the preacher, unconscious of his presence,
continued with his moving prayer, and at last finished it with the words,
uttered in fervent appeal, "Bless our arms, grant us the victory, O Lord our
God, Father and Protector of our land and flag!"

The stranger touched his arm, motioned him to step aside -- which the
startled minister did -- and took his place. During some moments he surveyed
the spellbound audience with solemn eyes, in which burned an uncanny light;
then in a deep voice he said:

"I come from the Throne -- bearing a message from Almighty God!" The words
smote the house with a shock; if the stranger perceived it he gave no
attention. "He has heard the prayer of His servant your shepherd, and will
grant it if such shall be your desire after I, His messenger, shall have
explained to you its import -- that is to say, its full import. For it is
like unto many of the prayers of men, in that it asks for more than he who
utters it is aware of -- except he pause and think.

"God's servant and yours has prayed his prayer. Has he paused and taken
thought? Is it one prayer? No, it is two -- one uttered, the other not. Both
have reached the ear of Him Who heareth all supplications, the spoken and
the unspoken. Ponder this -- keep it in mind. If you would beseech a
blessing upon yourself, beware! lest without intent you invoke a curse upon
a neighbor at the same time. If you pray for the blessing of rain upon your
crop which needs it, by that act you are possibly praying for a curse upon
some neighbor's crop which may not need rain and can be injured by it.

"You have heard your servant's prayer -- the uttered part of it. I am
commissioned of God to put into words the other part of it -- that part
which the pastor -- and also you in your hearts -- fervently prayed
silently. And ignorantly and unthinkingly? God grant that it was so! You
heard these words: 'Grant us the victory, O Lord our God!' That is
sufficient. the whole of the uttered prayer is compact into those pregnant
words. Elaborations were not necessary. When you have prayed for victory you
have prayed for many unmentioned results which follow victory -- must follow
it, cannot help but follow it. Upon the listening spirit of God fell also
the unspoken part of the prayer. He commandeth me to put it into words.
Listen!

"O Lord our Father, our young patriots, idols of our hearts, go forth to
battle -- be Thou near them! With them -- in spirit -- we also go forth from
the sweet peace of our beloved firesides to smite the foe. O Lord our God,
help us to tear their soldiers to bloody shreds with our shells; help us to
cover their smiling fields with the pale forms of their patriot dead; help
us to drown the thunder of the guns with the shrieks of their wounded,
writhing in pain; help us to lay waste their humble homes with a hurricane
of fire; help us to wring the hearts of their unoffending widows with
unavailing grief; help us to turn them out roofless with little children to
wander unfriended the wastes of their desolated land in rags and hunger and
thirst, sports of the sun flames of summer and the icy winds of winter,
broken in spirit, worn with travail, imploring Thee for the refuge of the
grave and denied it -- for our sakes who adore Thee, Lord, blast their
hopes, blight their lives, protract their bitter pilgrimage, make heavy
their steps, water their way with their tears, stain the white snow with the
blood of their wounded feet! We ask it, in the spirit of love, of Him Who is
the Source of Love, and Who is the ever-faithful refuge and friend of all
that are sore beset and seek His aid with humble and contrite hearts. Amen.

(After a pause.) "Ye have prayed it; if ye still desire it, speak! The
messenger of the Most High waits!"

It was believed afterward that the man was a lunatic, because there was no
sense in what he said.
Vision is Mind
Mind is Empty
Emptiness is Clear Light
Clear Light is Union
Union is Great Bliss

- Dawa Gyaltsen

---

Disclaimer: I'm a non-religious practitioner of Theravada, Mahayana/Vajrayana, and Tibetan Bon Dzogchen mind-training.
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Re: Memorial Day

Postby Rui Sousa » Tue May 26, 2009 12:06 pm

We will have our Portugal's Day on the 10th June, as a warring nation, that was in some kind of war since 1185 to 1974, we have a long history of fallen soldiers all over the world. :(

Fortunately our warring face is being replaced by a diplomatic one, and our armed forces are more concerned with peace enforcement than conquering something somewhere, as we did for 800 years...

May all beings be well and happy.
With Metta
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Re: Memorial Day

Postby retrofuturist » Thu Jun 04, 2009 12:46 am

Greetings,

I like the sense of gratitude and compassion that can be aroused on such days, but don't like the idea of the government or peer pressure mandating how and when you ought to feel particular feelings in relation to certain historical events.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Memorial Day

Postby Cittasanto » Thu Jun 04, 2009 8:57 am

TheDhamma wrote:"Remembering doesn’t do the remembered any good, of course. It's for ourselves, the living. I wish we could dedicate Memorial Day, not to the memory of those who have died at war, but to the idea of saving the lives of the young people who are going to die in the future if we don’t find some new way - some new religion maybe - that takes war out of our lives.

That would be a Memorial Day worth celebrating
."


Memorial day the day we remember that there use to be war!

:woohoo:

Sounds good
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
Upāsaka Cittasanto
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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