Today may or may not be on your wall calendar, more likely than not depending on where it was printed. Last Friday, as you should remember, was Patriot Day observed as the National Day of Service and Remembrance.
Dedicating days on the calendar can help us keep track not so much of time itself (good luck with that John Cameron Swayze) but a (not the) prioritization and importance of events we might otherwise allow to fade in our memory and slip from our consciousness.
At one time schoolchildren learned the beginning and end dates of major conflicts and world wars; perhaps because one seems to stretch into the next, we’ve started to get away from demarcations like that allowing, instead, the flickering images online or TV screens to light up our faces even if our eyes seem distant and dull in comprehending what any of what we are seeing actually means.
Today is National Prisoner of War/Missing in Action Recognition Day, a different day of remembrance because for those most deeply and directly affected, every day is POW/MIA Recognition Day and the pain of loss is neither dulled nor diminished with the passage of years and decades.
William (WS) Merwin once offered “What you remember saves you.”
For too many of us, perhaps salvation has slipped from our grasp and yet I would hope we can at least for today find a moment to remember those for whom the battles to secure our liberties have yet to end.
In defending hearth and home as many have done throughout our history, the belief and hope that there will be a day when you return to that same hearth and home often sustains in both moments of trial and triumph.
If only in our thoughts and hearts today, for all those were and are feared lost, welcome home.