Ordinarily on this day, I would post something profoundly patriotic, an acknowledgment of those who have sacrificed so that I can sit on my duff and blog without fear.
And I would like to post such a thing, especially as the adverts for Memorial Day Sales flood my inbox with deals I can't afford to pass up, and I really can't afford to buy to begin with.
Any drop of blood sacrificed for our sins should be counted and revered. And those gone are not lost from us forever if we honor them and keep them close to our hearts.
This Memorial Day is overshadowed by a tragedy that borders on the peculiar. A man spurned rampaged against those he felt responsible for his loneliness. And the public appears now obsessed with a handful of individuals Tweeting misogynistic dribble in support of this man they feel kinship with at the hashtag YesAllWomen.
The tragedy is three-fold. A broken man. The deaths of the innocent. The martyrdom of one who cannot possibly deserve it by those who should know better.
At first I was loathe to comment, for this sort of circus leaves me uneasy. Participating in blame games at the expense of those burdened with loss and despair is counter-grain to the core of my beliefs. People need their space to grieve and heal and they shouldn't have to see their grief used to fuel any agenda. It's sick and immoral.
Still, here I am, on this of all days, and I feel compelled to call Humans out on their bullshit..
See, Humans, if nothing else, are predictable in their anti-social behaviors. Individuals said some pretty vile things in the public arena because they're seeking attention. By discussing it, even to point out how viciously flawed their outlook is, we are unintentionally lending them a credible platform for their justification and fueling their frenzy. Negative attention is still attention..
At the heart of this, a deeply troubled man felt justified in taking lives, and while we don't have to condone any aspect of what he did, we can at least agree that his very nature is pitiable, regardless of his motivation. Mental illness takes on many, many forms and any small event can trigger an episode that impacts on a epic scale.
Unresolved frustration leads to anger.
Unresolved anger will twist broken souls until there is nothing decent left.
Victims of his violence are to be mourned and given respect, and their families should be afforded what sympathy and support we can provide. Witnesses too, for shock and stress can haunt those ill-equipped to deal with horrors beyond their control or comprehension. Each one of them could have easily been one of us, our siblings or parents, our children or loved ones.
In short Humans, the lesson we need to learn isn't the lesson anyone else seems to be discussing. We can't move forward as a species until we learn to love each other more, comfort those who despair, heal those who are wounded, and protect those who cannot fend for themselves. And stand our ground against those that insist on perpetuating unconscionable evil.
Take this time to reflect on the souls we miss.
Take care of their legacy.
We are the only ones left who can.