I recently read Redeployment, the excellent National Book Award-winning book of short stories by Phil Klay. Each story is a first-person narrative about wars, the people who fight them, and what can often be a difficult return to civilian life.
Klay has said in interviews that many civilians thank our servicemen and servicewomen for their time overseas, but most of us really don’t know what we mean when we say, “Thank you for your service.” Very few of us have any idea of the myriad roles soldiers actually perform, nor we do often fully understand the physical and emotional toll war can take.
Today is the day we acknowledge that toll and remember those who died in service for our country and its values. It may seem odd to commemorate this day on a blog about yoga and healthy eating, but to me it feels right. My being able to freely worship, vote, work, speak my mind, and yes, even practice yoga is the result of the many people who worked — and fought — to ensure those rights.
To me, Memorial Day is a reminder of the selflessness that allows one person to make a sacrifice for others. It reminds me of the importance of listening to and caring about the stories of those who answer the call to serve. It reminds me of the necessity of bearing witness to the grief of those who have lost loved ones. To acknowledge the divine spark in others and respond in love, compassion, and even sacrifice — that’s what Everyday Namaste is all about. So, from this crunchy lifestyle blog to you: happy Memorial Day.