Oneself shall likewise die;
But the glory of a name
Shall never die
In honoured posterity.”
(From the Icelandic poem “Voluspaa,” as translated by me in Viking Legacy.)
On Memorial Day, it is customary to remind people, in the midst of their barbecuing, to take a moment to remember the sacrifices made by soldiers in many wars, so that we might enjoy our freedom.
I think it would be more appropriate, this year, to take the ashes from our barbecues, strew them on our heads, dress in sackcloth, fall to our knees, and beg forgiveness for the uses to which we’ve put that freedom.