Dear ones: Sometimes I have heard UUs disparaging military service, forgetting that while we oppose violence as a form of solving conflict, we can love and support those who serve or are Veterans. On Memorial Day, when we honor those who died while serving U.S. Military, I think we can hold the complexity of the day and all it entails. I wrote this for friends who raised their children with progressive values and watched them become soldiers.

Thank you to all who served. Let us send love to those who hold the complex feelings about war and what it takes to have peace. The humans whose lives are impacted deserve nothing less. Warmly, RevD

Peace-loving mamas send their babies to the world
By Reverend Denise Cawley

As an infant, I cuddled you against my breast dedicating my body to your whole nourishment.
You grew up playing with Legos, trucks, and dolls.

I fought you having guns as toys. Then you chewed your toast into a gun, shooting strawberries at breakfast. I bought you the tanks you begged to have.

I carried you on my back as we knocked on doors for a candidate that cared about ALL families.
You turned our couch into a fort. You loved taking things apart and putting them back together.

I taught you about hard work, building a business, cooking, and loving animals.
You amazed me as you learned Spanish, and had friends from every block. You brought them over to eat organic mac-n-cheese after school and watched cartoons.

I bought more snacks, worked more hours, and re-arranged my schedule to be home when you were home.
You attended peace camp each summer. You told me about Martin Luther King, how you learned to work through conflict and who Vel Phillips was. We Boycotted Nestle together.

On Christmas, we sang carols at the Unitarian Universalist church. We came home from candlelit services to dinners of family and friends stuffing ourselves with the best produce from the Co-op.

My efforts to make you a citizen of the world who cared about peace, people, animals, and our earth have been all aimed at this moment you would grow up and leave my protective arms.

Today, I watch you board a plane where you will be issued a gun to hold against your breast. You will no longer play with Legos but real parts that build real tanks. You will drive real trucks while working and living in a community with people from every block of states. You will live in a real fort, and that Spanish will probably be very helpful as you navigate new friendships, cultures, and traditions.

While your choice is a surprise, I can see how you took who you are, and how you were raised and are going after your dreams. You know I do not support war, or how our politicians make plans to send children away to fight battles that are not ours to be involved with, and yet, I get it.

I get that you are doing just what you were taught. You are going to solve problems, to learn things and to build cultural bridges. I raised you in community of peace-loving hippies, single homeschooling moms, fierce performers, and hell-raising activists. You are going after your dreams and doing to do it in community.

May the earth you step on, hold you firm in your senses. May the leaves you see, remind you that you can grow and change. May you remember the neighborhood that raised you and the values we put into you at Peace Camp, the Humane Society, and volunteering at the Hunger Task Force. As you step onto that plane, remember to call home, learn well, and after your duties are done, please come back home to stuff yourself with veggies from the co-op, nourishment from your mama, and the love of many cultures and traditions you meet out in our world. Your neighborhood is rooting for you. We love you.

We send you peace and love.

Amen, blessed be, and may it be so.