Even after our veterans take off the uniform, they never stop serving. Many apply the skills and experience they developed on the battlefield to a life of service here at home. They take on roles in their communities as doctors and police officers, engineers and entrepreneurs, mothers and fathers.
If all the libraries in the world were destroyed and you could save only two books of political theory, which would they be?
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.
Links on culture, reading, and the web.
“The old order changeth, yielding place to new,
And God fulfils Himself in many ways,
Lest one good custom should corrupt the world.”
— Alfred, Lord Tennyson, The Passing of Arthur
It’s late in the election cycle, and I do not know if you have yet registered to vote, but I exhort you as my fellow citizen, my political friend, to go and vote. And after that, to participate in other ways, by reading, commenting, contributing, serving, listening, speaking, advocating. Politics grows from the practice of everyday life in the presence of strangers and friends. It doesn’t matter whether you have everything figured out yet — just participate. Be devoted — make a sacrifice of devotion — to the city and nation in which you have found yourself. They are your family, and they need you.
So here are some manifestos of the present day on books, education, faith, and civic life. Though their weight for good or ill, for much or little, is as yet unknown, these are some of the words that will shepherd us into our shared future.