The Unintended Soldier

This Memorial Day night I want to pause to remember all of those who gave their lives so that we may be safe. I know that this day is for the soldiers but there is another unintended soldier…

Those who died, in order for us to do the right thing.

To those of the Titanic, who lost their lives to change the safety protocols regarding lifeboats, regulations and transmissions. To those who lost the lives to sharks on the USS Indianapolis, so that the military would change the way they handle distress calls in time of war and who taught us that we needed to seriously address sharks’ feeding behavior.

To those who died in the great molasses flood, which changed the laws regarding the proper storage of such materials. 

To the endangered animals in zoos and attractions, whose death will hopefully change our views on how we engage and protect these creatures. To those mauled or abused by these animals, who demonstrated that we shouldn’t be so conceited as to believe we actually have control over these animals.

To those who suffered and died in the holocaust and the genocide in Rwanda, your cries for justice demand that the world realize no man is better than another. To those who suffered the horrors of slavery, both in the US and in Europe centuries before,so that we may we learn that no man should “own” another.

To all the woman and children who have suffered through the humiliation of publicly announcing their abuse, so that we may learn that women aren’t chattel and children aren’t born to be abused.  

To all of these and many, many more who have given this generation the safety and awareness we now take for granted, I remember you. I thank you, your lives and scars are not in vain. I have listened and I am not alone. You, the unintended soldiers of our past are the reason for our “comforts” today. You have focused our attention, made us aware and precipitated change.

For all of that, I thank you.

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