We just celebrated Memorial Day. On this day we remember our service men and women who died in battle for our country. This remembrance started soon after the Civil War when more Americans died than in any other war in history. It is important to remember those who have died in battle. Each person left behind a grieving mother, father, brother or sister, wife or husband or significant other who loved them. This day is for each of us to acknowledge the grieving that takes place because of war. The young lives that are lost to protect others and the sadness and grief of those who have lost a loved one.

We must remember that war causes pain and grief. We can idealize war. We can make war seem virtuous and good. Memorial Day started after a civil war where Americans fought against Americans. Then we extended the memory of this to include all wars where Americans have died.

What are we remembering? We remember the ending of life for so many young men and women who gave up their lives so others could live a free and long life. We remember courage and bravery. We also remember the stupidity of war where so much suffering is caused. We need to remember that war should never have to be a means to peace. There should not be any more wars!

We should remember that the best way to disarm other people is by disarming ourselves so we can peacefully learn to live with other countries. We disarm others through care and compassion, not through bombs and guns. Wars from the past may have seemed absolutely necessary. The real heroes are those men and women who bravely fought.

But in 2019 we must remember that destruction of other people will never save our planet. It only leads to more destruction. My father and my uncle fought in World War II in the Navy and the Army. They left their wives each with a young child to bravely and ideally fight in what seemed to be a necessary war. They were part of that "best generation" of brave men and women. Thankfully they came home intact.

But today as we remember the many deaths of our young military men and women, we must remember and we must believe in the absolute tragedy of war. The weapons of mass destruction will destroy us all if we continue to believe in the importance of war.

This planet will only survive through love and compassion. The only positive deaths that will help the planet now are the deaths of selfishness, greed, obsession with money and nationalism. We are all on this planet together. It is not my country over your country. We are all brothers and sisters on a planet that needs us to cooperate with one another and get along peacefully and compassionately. We need one another to survive in a healthy manner. Everyone must treat each other with love and compassion. My threatening you with war will not make you more compassionate and loving. But my treating you with compassionate help by working with you to have financial, religious, emotional and spiritual freedom will allow us to have a positive encounter with each other. The greatest weapon in life that causes another person or country to disarm themselves is the weapon of love and kindness.

Love and kindness are the best method of making authoritative and condemning people and countries become caring and compassionate. Memorial Day challenges us to look deeper. Everyone knows of someone who has died because of war. It is time that we remember how to genuinely bring peace to a very battered planet. I must become my brothers' and sisters' keeper by kind actions. I must become the keeper of this planet's welfare by treating this planet with compassion and respect for the air, the water, the animals, and above all the human inhabitants.

It is important for us to be grateful to those who died for us. Our gratitude must now be filled with compassion and love for everyone no matter the cost. We must make sure that Love will disarm all, so that the weapons we have so blindly made will never have to be used. We must save each other, every country, every person by our love and generosity. Each of us remembers kindness and love. But without kindness and love being given to us and without us giving love and kindness to others, our worst selves will take over. This cannot be allowed to happen. Let our remembrance of the brave men and women before us inspire us to be the new brave men and women armed with the weapons of absolute compassion and love for all. Then all will become well because of our dedication to love and kindness. Please no more war, never again! Let us love one another. Is this idealistic. Nope. It is realistic because it is the only thing that will save us and save our planet.


Fred Cavaiani is a licensed marriage & family therapist and psychotherapist with a private practice in Troy. He is the founder of Marriage Growth Center, a consultant for the Detroit Medical Center, and Henry Ford Medical Center. He conducts numerous programs for groups throughout Southeastern Michigan he is also on staff at Capuchin Retreat Center in Washington, MI. His column in the Legal News runs every other Tuesday. He can be reached at 248-362-3340. His e-mail address is:

Published: Tue, May 28, 2019