Reflections on UUism and Memorial Day – Jeff Williams and Evelyn DeNardo

Two members of UUCSS discuss their personal experience with grief following deaths connected with military service. Evelyn discusses the loss of her father to the war in Vietnam. She recounts the impact of this grief on a nine year old girl who loved her father dearly and the implications of this loss into her adult life, and she shares how Unitarian Universalism impacted her thinking on this loss. How might communities acknowledge pain and respond to loss more effectively and compassionately now than they did then? Jeff, an 18-year veteran of the U.S. Navy, recounts the situation and circumstances surrounding the loss of two Navy colleagues; one to a training accident and the other to suicide. What perspectives does Unitarian Universalism have to offer regarding these and other military deaths? Are these “tragic, unnecessary losses,” “noble, honorable sacrifices,” both or neither? They consider both big-picture philosophy and personal stories in this honest examination of the meaning of Memorial Day.