Saturday, September 10, 2011

Responsibily of memorial days

All countries have memorial days. Some have them in modesty and humility, others in almost outgoing agression.

Memorial days center azround those who died, or rather, they used to.
Now the people who are left behind are far more central.

In that tendency, to support and even honor those who have lost a loved one, there's a huge danger.
Not only of taking away the private aspect of grief, with the risk of keeping people away from moving on in a healthy way, but also of neglecting those who also need support after a major event that took the lives of others.

Survivors of terrorist attacks, natural disasters and other events where peope died can feel a tremendous feeling of guilt. They don't understand why they have survived and sometimes even feel they haven't done enough to assist others during the disaster. This guilt may develop into severe depression and even suicide.

Acknowledging and honoring the survivors, celebrating life, should be also an important aspect of memorial days or weeks.

In The Netherlands Memorial day is celebrated at may 4th. It's celebrated with dignity and respect for all who died during wars and peace missions.
The day after freedom is celebrated. All over the country festivities, open air concerts and children events take place.
The message that is conveyed is clear: death and survival belong to each other and each have their own place.
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