Honoring Memorial Day

From the dawn of time, men who died in battle have been recognized by the society they fought for as heroes.

This coming weekend American Society has set aside to honor the men and women who have given their lives to found our country, to fight to preserve its way of life, and to bring democracy to other countries.

For most of us, this coming weekend means barbecues, a four-day weekend and the traditional start of summer. Retailers have used this weekend, as a reason for people to spend money on a new barbecue, redo the landscaping in a backyard, and to buy new summer outfits.

I will be spending this weekend for four days all disconnected from the Internet, my cell phone, and the stresses of regular society. I’m going to do a digital detox.

This weekend is about getting back in touch with what it means to be me and to be a man in today’s society. On the one hand, men are expected to be strong, silent, powerful, forceful, and determined in goal seeking. The strong man goes after what he wants. He is aggressive in business and he is sexually assertive. We look to the mythic to set the standard for the average. We use the warrior ethic as the ideal of what a man should be.

On the other hand, we hamstring each other when we tear down the most successful among us. We look for the sexual indiscretions and financial improprieties so we can bring the top person down off their pedestal, and so that we, who don’t measure up, may feel a sense of moral superiority.

But this weekend is about remembering those who fought for our country, and our planet. For those who contributed during the wars to the good fight, those we owe our respect, honor

I was never in the military. I imagine that for those who were in the military and have felt the pressures of combat their sense of camaraderie must be so much stronger, their friendships deeper, and their love for one another greater. Which means that their feelings of loss must be greater also.

This coming weekend as Woodlawn cemetery holds ceremonies to remember those lost in combat, veterans and families will gather, to honor and remember their fallen fellows. The Woodlawn official website lists: There will be a “Movie in the Mausoleum” selection and other activities following the ceremony. Food will be available for purchase from The Fix on Wheels and ice cream will be available for purchase from The S’cream Truck.

Free parking can be found at Santa Monica College’s Lot 4 at the corner of 16th St. & Pico Blvd. Santa Monica College’s Parking Lot 6 at 14th St. & Pico Blvd. is $5. There will be shuttle service from both lots and the Elks Lodge at 1040 Pico Blvd. to the Cemetery. There is limited street parking.

Big Blue Bus Lines 7, Rapid 7, 41, and 42 serve the Cemetery. The Cemetery is wheelchair accessible. For those requiring assistance, shuttle service inside the Cemetery will be provided to and from both entrances.

That is the real point of this weekend. This weekend is about remembering what it took to found our nation, and what it takes to protect our nation, but also about the individuals who sacrificed their lives for those of us still living.

So this coming weekend as we enjoy our hamburgers and corn on the cob, as we lay on the beach and work on our tans, I urge you to take a moment and reflect and those who have sacrificed for us.

If you are an active duty service member, or you are a vet, I want to thank you for the work you’ve done, and let you know that I am sorry for the loss of your fellows. Whether you are or were a general or a buck private, whether you saw frontline combat or stayed on a base in Kansas, the role you played was needed and appreciated.

To all the service members let me just say thank you, you are not forgotten.

David Pisarra is a Divorce lawyer specializing in Father’s and Men’s Rights with the Santa Monica firm of Pisarra & Grist. He welcomes your questions and comments. He can be reached at dpisarra@pisarra.com or 310/664-9969.