We recall on Monday the many men and women who have died in war protecting the United States of America. They’ve – to be sure – given courageously. Most serve admirably. We honor these soldiers in parades and picnics, rituals and memorials, at meet ups and gatherings. They are deserving of our respect and remembrance.
What about those who stared down evil and injustice non-violently?
Those who, when most of the world employed coercive and manipulative tactics, stood up peacefully as non-aggressors, organizing movements, encouraging dialogue, cultivating understanding.
Do we memorialize, remember even, those who have died in the pursuit of non-violent resistance?
Jesus. Ghandi. Martin Luther King, Jr. Helen Prejean. There are countless others.
As guns salute and fire ammunition in the air at cemeteries in ceremonies nationally, may we memorialize and remember those who died advocating for and seeking non-violent means to peace. May we honor those who fought violence and oppression with civil disobedience. May we account for those who fought war with love, mercy, and compassion.