Memorial Day Toast to Unity ~ By Rev. Kurt Condra

Navigating the complex, layered energies Memorial Day evokes is like tasting fine wine: The experience is shaped by our own preferences and histories. Most people recognize a dominant flavor or two: “berry” and ‘chocolate,” or “gratitude” and “patriotism,” but seekers are called to develop a greater sensitivity to subtler flavors. We're called to cultivate a more profound awareness of how our lives are shaped by those who’ve lived and died before us.


The holiday’s history itself conveys its many facets: First adopted to honor the fallen on both sides of the Civil War, after World War I, Congress decided to commemorate all American soldiers who died in any war. Since then, it's become an occasion for more general expressions of memory, as people visit graves of deceased relatives, whether they served in the military or not. Today, it's a long weekend increasingly devoted to shopping, family get-togethers, fireworks, beach outings, and the Indy 500.


So here’s an invitation for further evolving consciousness of Memorial Day’s purpose: Pray for the fallen on all sides of all conflicts. Pray believing that Spirit is active in all things, always drawing us toward a greater expression of Divine Love. Set an intention to be that love in expression. Then be willing to savor every nuance: the sweetness of celebration, the bitterness of grief, the tang of loss, the spiciness of forgiveness, the fruitiness of appreciation. Let Memorial Day be a celebration of our deep connection to all that is, has been, and is yet to be. Let it be a celebration of our unity.