Without borders, what does Memorial Day mean? (A Ukraine reflection.)

Roy Beck
May 30, 2022

When we look at all those Ukrainians who are dying in their battles against the Russian invasion, do we see people making the ultimate sacrifice for some global ideal? Or for world peace? Or for global humanity? Or keeping international markets open?

No, I'm pretty sure we are watching a people risking their lives in defense of, and in service to, a country. Their country. For the fellow citizens of their national community. For the people and the way of life inside their country's borders. Borders which the whole world knows are at the heart of this.

Would they be fighting in this way if they thought the end result would be a semi-open border in which anybody in the world who wanted to work and live in Ukraine could do so in the future?

Perhaps this Memorial Day, we need to think more deeply about the motivations of all those Americans who have lost their lives in service to our country while performing duties ordered by our government.

For some of us, those lost lives were a parent, or a grandparent, a cousin, an uncle or aunt, a brother or sister, or a classmate or a neighbor. For others of us, they were a colleague in arms. And they died while wearing the uniform of our country.

What an incredible sacrifice! It is almost impossible to weigh and value it against every other human endeavor.