Decorating the barbecue

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By John Pawlak

I rather enjoy making fun of so-called serious topics, recognizing the simple truth that most efforts in life are futile gestures and that we waste far too much time arguing the morality of dung beetles and the semantics of bingo games.  

But as Memorial Day approaches, I take a more serious stance. I believe we need to take a hard look at what is really being commemorated on this holiday.  We need to remind ourselves what it means to “remember” the heroics of the faceless and nameless.

As Americans chow down on barbecued ribs and drink a few cold ones, how much thought do we really give to the harsh reality of war? The problem is, war has become far too antiseptic.

We sip on our morning coffee and read about desolate regions of conflict, strange names, streets on which every window harbors a potential sniper. And then we work on the crossword puzzle. Loss and suffering are so much easier to tolerate when it’s not our front lawn bloodied by the violence.