The celebration of Memorial Day signals for many the end of the school year, the beginning of the vacation season and the time when here at HR when the 8:15 daily mass becomes the 8:00 daily mass. There is so much more to this day of remembrance. As most know, the day had its origins in the aftermath of the Civil War. So divided and broken, so deeply mired in grief for all those who had died in the worst war this country had ever seen, the leaders of the nation were hoping to use the day as a way to bring healing to the many families who had suffered. Even though now the day is greeted with sleeping in, a parade here or there and plenty of barbecue, the day originally was a serious, even a somber one. Most of us are so far removed from first hand involvement in the combat of wars that we almost overlook how devastating such conflicts can be. One of the things every Christian should do on this day besides pausing to remember those who have died in the service of this nation, is to resolve to continue in this difficult but necessary work of building peace. As Pope St. John Paul II said emphatically just before this country went to war in Iraq, “God does not want war. God does not want war. God does not want war!” In a time like ours when it seems so many can speak so glibly about going to war, we should remember his words. Every one of those soldiers or civilians who dies in a war is someone’s son or daughter, husband or wife, father or mother of another dies. Celebrating Memorial Day properly should have us promising ourselves and our nation to never go to war again unless there is absolutely no alternative to it.