May 29, 2010
In much of Appalachia, Memorial Day means family reunions, big meals, and visits to cemeteries. The holiday was originally enacted to celebrate Union soldiers who fell during the Civil War but has since expanded to include all US soldiers, airmen and sailors who died in warfare. In these times, it seems appropriate to think of all who have died in armed conflict--and to hope that there will be much less of it in the future.
While we're at it, here's another kind of memorial, a pastoral letter from Bishop Michael Bransfield of the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston on coal mine safety. Titled On My Holy Mountain: Mine Safety in West Virginia, it was written in the wake of Massey Energy's Upper Big Branch disaster.