Here is what Memorial Day means to me today: it means remembering the connections we have to those who are elsewhere, remembering that the small things we enjoy here at home exist in a larger system of past and present service, sacrifice and justice.
Human interactions with the Red Planet have long been a blend of wonder, science, imagination, fear, longing & engineering. In honor of this interplay, The Planetary Society has placed a DVD among the scientific instruments on board the Phoenix Lander that touched down on the Martian south pole this last memorial day. And it carries books.
Overcoming prejudice and distrust is not a one-time attitude adjustment, but a continuing journey in the company of people who are not like us, but who may become our civic friends. Such a strategy might go a long way toward more important goals: building a supportive environment for homeschoolers, and reinvigorating the varied practices of education & learning in America today.