No more Memorial Days
Turn on your TV on Memorial Day and you get two options for programming: war movies or news reports on veterans from war.
All day long, the TV media will interview the soldier who had his or her arms and legs blown off by a roadside IED (improvised explosive device) and that former serviceman or woman will tell a tale of absolute hell reminiscing about his or her past service to defend our country.
Yet not a single person asks why the young man or woman was there in the first place.
I’m not saying this to the protesters of Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, the drone policies, and other black and illegal wars. I am talking to the US government, specifically, the Pentagon and the CIA that instigate all the subterfuge, murder, and war to topple foreign governments and regimes that they find unacceptable. I am talking to what Dwight Eisenhower described as the military industrial complex and war economics. You would think the US government has become the Roman Empire with the amount of blood on their hands from the war machine and imperialism.
America takes its poorest people, whose only hope to go to college or make something of their lives, and put into their hands an M-4 carbine and marching orders. The Pentagon tells them to lob grenades into villages of innocent people whose only crime is to be born in a country that is pushed around by a tyrant. We take our poorest citizens and command them to kill their poorest citizens. Not even a President of the United States, who has the final say in conducting military operations (usually without the consent of the Congress), has the moral fortitude and courage to stand up against this vicious cycle.
Veterans come home with the promise that Uncle Sam will take care of them for the rest of their lives. I personally met Korean War, WWII vets, Vietnam and Iraq vets and they say “we’re all sold out.” Tricare is the health insurance that military personal receive while in service to our country. And yet, I have met veterans who see their benefits cut and privatized. That is very patriotic for Congressmen and Senators to privatize a veteran’s health care and essentially tell them “thank you for sacrificing your life for American democracy, you are on your own now.” They sacrifice their bodies and minds, and now the US government has the audacity to ask them to pay for their health care?
If we are unable to take care of those who bore the scars and burdens of war, why are we sending them into war in the first place?
It’s too late for so many brave men and women who walk into Hell to fight for old men’s mendacity and dreams of conquest. Today on Memorial Day, I ask my dear reader to at least consider the price of war — not the money, but the disfigurement of our citizens we send to fight. Call me crazy, but I would love to live in a time of true peace. I have no idea how we can get there, but I do have a one single wish. No more Memorial Days.
Heal and help the living, mourn the dead, and stop the wars.