Monday, May 25, 2015

Memorial Day used to be a day that I really wanted to honor because, despite the current troubles, the United States was strong for many years because of the sacrifices that others made: From the Revolutionary War, right up to WWII. people fought for freedom. or at least against tyranny. Many of them died or came home wounded.

It seems to me, though, that since that time there hasn't been a good reason for any of the wars we've been in. We want to honor the troops, but we keep sending them into meaningless battles. It seems to me that if we really wanted to honor the troops, we'd stop starting new wars.

Memorial Day makes me feel like a hypocrite: I thank the soldiers who serve, while asking them to run along and die again in a meaningless war which has no bearing on me. I can't do it.

If we really had any respect at all for the generation of youngest adults we would work to build an economic infrastructure in which they could all get jobs with a living wage, and not feel compelled to join up with the war machine that has become America.

I say this because of my patriotism, and because I believe in the idea of America. But I don't think the ideals of liberty and justice for all have to be financed with war.

I was struggling to identify why I felt so uncomfortable with Memorial Day this year, but June and Marlene helped me. It's not that I don't honor the troops, it's that I can no longer be a hypocrite.

1 comment:

  1. Oh, I hear you! I feel so conflicted about Memorial Day (Remebrance Day, in Canada). I've come to realize I'm a pacifist at heart and the only military effort I can get behind, is peace KEEPING and rebuilding - something Canada used to be good at. I was a military spouse for 25 years and am sickened by the romantisizing of the hero soldier, while the returning Vets are left to flounder without proper supports and follow up care.