This year’s Vesak observance, the remembrance of Lord Buddha’s Birth, Enlightenment, and Parinirvana, occurs closely to our Memorial Day observance. On both occasions, this is a time for the remembrance of deeds that provided for our Emancipation from suffering. The Buddha’s final victory over Mara, and our military veterans who gave the “last full measure” so that we may have freedom today.
The Buddha showed us the Way to liberation, that liberation from suffering was in fact possible, and available regardless of our karmic circumstances or our social caste; our veterans have sacrificed so that we also are liberated from slavery and oppressive government. We continue to honor and remember the Buddha for His Great Compassion for us. We must not only remember what he accomplished, but work to pass on his teachings.
American Buddhists have fought in the wars of this nation, and Buddhist families have lost sons and daughters in our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. They have also given the “last full measure,” no different from any other citizen of this Nation. Do not forget those who have given so much for us. Take time during your Memorial Day vacation, or during your memorial services this Sunday, to remember those who have served.
Namo Amida Butsu