Memorial Day, A Time to Remember and Mourn

Memorial Day, A Time to Remember and Mourn

Statement of LI Alliance for Memorial Day 2014

Margaret Melkonian, Executive Director, LI Alliance for Peaceful Alternatives, 516-741-4360

Memorial Day, A Time to Remember and to Mourn the Victims of War

Since the end of the Civil War, the American people have dedicated Memorial Day as a time to mourn the victims of war. It has become a nationwide day of remembrance and reconciliation.

On May 24th, on the tenth Pax Christi LI’s Memorial Day Vigil, Long Islanders will gather at Jones Beach for a solemn march remembering and grieving for all those lost and wounded in wars. 

This is a stark alternative to the Bethpage Federal Credit Union’s Air Show.  It is regrettable that Bethpage Federal Credit Union and other sponsors have transformed this sacred day of mourning into a demonstration of military machinery and a vehicle for recruitment.  The solemn peace march, in contrast, seeks to draw in persons no matter what their politics, by calling on our common humanity in an act of remembrance and mourning. 

Memorial Day is a time to reflect on the consequences of war, to commit ourselves to end the cycle of violence, and to the return all those in harm’s way to their loved ones. Memorial Day is a sacred day of loss and remembrance and hope for a world without war. It is not the beginning of summer, a day for sales and for military demonstrations. Memorial Day is a sacred day.

The LI Alliance and LI peace partners call on Bethpage Federal Credit Union and other sponsors and also the NYS Parks Commission to forego military demonstrations at Jones Beach in the future. Instead, we ask them to remember why we grieve as a LI community on Memorial Day for all those lives lost in wars and why we hold close all those who we could not bear to lose.


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