This Memorial Day I Dare You

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<p><a href="http://episcopalveteransfellowship.org/the-hospitallers/" target="_blank" role="link" rel="nofollow" class=" js-entry-link cet-external-link" data-vars-item-name="St. Martin of Tours" data-vars-item-type="text" data-vars-unit-name="5926ed17e4b090bac9d46bf5" data-vars-unit-type="buzz_body" data-vars-target-content-id="http://episcopalveteransfellowship.org/the-hospitallers/" data-vars-target-content-type="url" data-vars-type="web_external_link" data-vars-subunit-name="article_body" data-vars-subunit-type="component" data-vars-position-in-subunit="0">St. Martin of Tours</a></p>

St. Martin of Tours

St. Martin of Tours, Patron of Veterans, St. David's Episcopal Church, Austin, TX

This Memorial Day I dare you

to not feel guilty for having a cookout

to not feel bad about sleeping in

to not feel regret for skipping the event at the cemetery

to not feel sheepish for having a good time

while our longest war drags on

like a soap opera we have never actually seen

This Memorial Day I dare you

to expand the grave of the fallen

to widen the hole in the ground

to dig deeper and make a great pit

so you can fit in the body of

the Japanese Kamikaze pilot who wrote to his parents

that he would come back as a firefly

the German Panzer commander who

could not throw the grenade quickly enough

the Chinese private who ran at the enemy

empty-handed when the whistle blew

the Russian submariner who could not seal

the reactor chamber tightly enough

the North Vietnamese mortar man who fell

into the wrong foxhole in the middle of the night

the Iraqi Army truck driver roasted alive

on the road back from Kuwait

the Taliban messenger who did not hear the drone

over the sound of his dirtbike's engine

the bomb maker in his dusty shop

the Viking on his leaky boat

the Mongol on his worn-out pony

This Memorial Day I dare you

to stuff them all in this yawning grave

I dare you to mix them in with Our dead daughters and sons

Who were also brave and terrified and on their last day

I dare you to cover them gently with mother dirt

I dare you to hallow the ground

say the prayers

weep

And, when you have done all that

I dare you to hope

Weeping Like Alexander Because There Are No More Worlds to Conquer by David W. Peters