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DC-area church's Memorial Day Weekend concert also honored victims of COVID and war in Ukraine

A lot of people will have spent Memorial Day Weekend having fun with their families, doing outside-y things, taking advantage of sales. But, just as it is every other Memorial Day, it’s important to remember what Memorial Day is really about.

You likely are already well aware that it’s about remembering the fallen, the heroes who fought and died to defend not just our freedom but also the freedom of people around the world. But did you know that it’s about so much more than that? Did you know that it’s also about remembering the people who died in the COVID pandemic and the ongoing war in Ukraine?

If you didn’t know that, chances are that you weren’t able to attend the Memorial Day Weekend choral concert at Andrew Chapel United Methodist Church in Vienna, Virginia, this past Saturday:

I checked, and this was indeed a real thing. And I’m sorry, but that’s really effing weird.

I’m not actually sorry, of course. Just trying to be polite. Though I’m not sure why I’m trying to be polite over something so dumb.

Look: I totally get wanting to pay tribute to the victims of the COVID pandemic. According to the CDC, more than 1.1 million Americans have died from COVID. And of course there were many other Americans who died indirectly of COVID, due to draconian lockdown policies and de-prioritization of “elective” medical care like cancer treatment.

And as for the war in Ukraine, innocent Ukrainian civilians have been murdered by the Russian military with Vladmir Putin’s blessing and encouragement.

But Memorial Day is supposed to be about remembering a very specific category of people: the men and women of the U.S. military who are no longer with us. It’s the one day of the year that’s supposed to be about them. So why is a church trying to co-opt this day and make it about something it’s not?

If anyone should know about certain things being sacred, it’s a church. Geez.


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