|The procession held along Milton and Rt. 66 for the body of U.S. Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Matthew J. Broehm was held Thursday, Nov. 11.|
At the beginning of the semester, I resolved to attend a cultural event every week throughout the rest of the school year. I purposely left the definition of a "cultural event" very open-ended, although I hinted that it could be music, film, art or theatre.
On Veteran's Day, I attended what may have been the most touching "cultural event" that I've made it to so far. The procession held along Milton and Rt. 66 for the body of U.S. Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Matthew J. Broehm was one of the most poignant ways in which we can acknowledge the knowledge and values shared by our society.
It's so important to let rituals mark the momentous and symbolic events in our life and in our society.
Part of me wants to classify ritual as art. They are both evocative of an emotion. They are meant to be shared with others. They fulfill a major part of the tastes in art and manners that are favored by a social group.
And they're essential. If we don't acknowledge the sadness of a marine killed in a war-zone, then we have totally lost sight of what is importnat to our human condition, here and now in 2010 America. We become wrapped up in shallow, materialistic pursuits and forget that healing and remembrance of beauty occurs when you come together with others.
As I've said before, rituals and ceremonies can acknowledge your feelings towards death and transform these feelings into beauty. We don't engage in rituals or look at art because we want to change the past. We take part because we want to acknowledge our participation in something in the present. We want to remember a specific point in time; metaphorically, we want to smell the rose before the season changes.
Because there may never be another rose quite like it again.