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Hymn to the Fallen and Note to Self

Memorial Day and its long weekend is now set aside to thoughtfully honor those who gave their lives to prevent oppression, including the forgotten tens of thousands of non-citizen immigrates who have given their lives serving in the U.S. military.

This year in history, political divisiveness, violence, unpresented and precarious income inequality and all that entails, is proving to affect our collective physical and mental health, as well as relationships with colleagues, family and friends.

Some of us are passionate supporters of the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, universal health care, the benefits of diversity and inclusiveness, Dreamers, adequate public funding for the arts, humanities, and education, civility, the First Admendent wall of separation between church and state, peer-reviewed science, the global climate accord, protection of public lands, clean energy, a strong diplomatic core and using diplomacy to avoid wars, campaign finance reform, and freedom of the press.

Others are equally passionate supporters of personal and states’ rights, free enterprise and corporate profitability, tax reform, eliminating onerous government safety regulations on industry, protecting Second Amendment rights, eliminating perceived entitlements, elminitating the First Admendent wall of separation between church and state, building a wall to keep others out, and rescinding the Supreme Court of the United States’ 1973 landmark Roe versus Wade decision protecting a woman’s right to choose a legal abortion.

In order to preserve our attempt at a more perfect union during this thoughtful weekend, we all need to breathe deeply, set aside fixed ideas on both sides of the aisle that may not be working well for our country, and concentrate on unity, policy, legislation, and the Rule of Law.

• On all occasions, when possible, we need to seek common ground, without getting sidetracked by the sheer absurdity of daily doses of tweets and social media.
• Try harder to be respectful, to listen, to be kind, and to stay calm, cool, and collected during political discussions with those with differing opinions.
• Remember to take time out this weekend to honor those who bravely gave their lives for country and democracy, to be playful, and to pay attention to nature and the beating of our universal hearts.

We need to try whenever possible to avoid those who are mean-spirited or fanatical. And by all means, we need to commit to better living by the Golden Rule, because in the end, it’s the rule that matters most and keeps us civil.

We sincerely wish all of our readers a thoughtful and peaceful Memorial Day weekend.

Ellen Troyer, with Spencer Thornton, MD, David Amess, and the Biosyntrx staff