What I have to say on Memorial Day is never pleasant

MemorialDay-2015If you know me, you know this kind of commemorative holiday makes me increasingly angry. And I read this week that one of the U.S.’s leading presidential candidates is promising pre-emptive war if elected.

One blogger crying in the wilderness isn’t going to stop the further conduct of wars. So rather than trying to be poetic or thoughtful, which I’ve done in the past, I will limit what I have to say to one thing. If we’re going to use this holiday for political purposes, as we inevitably will, here’s my political program. If we want to respect the sacrifices that our fellows have made for us, especially those who died in war, let’s respect the sacrifices living people have made in the past and current servicemen and -women are making today. This isn’t about our public pieties or private griefs or thanking veterans for their service or what makes us feel good about ourselves. This is about those of us who are adults putting our money where our mouth is when we thank those folks. We need to end veteran homelessness. Put those people in jobs. Fully fund medical care for veterans with disabilities and health problems. We as a nation asked for these sacrifices to be made — whatever the merits of the causes themselves — and it is time for us to pay for them. Maybe if we were a bit more honest about the total expenses of the war, we would be less eager to engage in it.

~ by Servetus on May 25, 2015.

11 Responses to “What I have to say on Memorial Day is never pleasant”

  1. The wars need to stop. Our guys need to come home, stay here and be taken care of.

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  2. What you say is so true…stop blathering on about honoring our armed forces’ sacrifices and give active support to these veterans and their myriad needs.

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  3. This. So very, very this. We need to stop treating our soldiers like they’re disposable. Come to think of it, we need to stop acting like everyone’s disposable. Or anyone.

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  4. Maybe things would be different if they had serviced or their children or maybe not.

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    • This is something I wonder, too. If the US armed forces weren’t solely a volunteer force, would our legislative representatives be more generous? It’s been something that’s made me angry for years. Those people’s kids don’t go to war.

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      • Just watched a program this past April about the draft and the pros and cons to the all volunteer force. One person said that while we are at war no one seems to notice unless it effects them or their families,it is like the rest of the country is shopping. There is also such a small number of the country that is in the armed services.

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        • Yeah, it’s less than 1%. Participation rate definitely affects perception of these things. Also, they keep the horror part off of TV — the government having learned its lesson during the Vietnam War.

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  5. Juste une journée aux USA , j’espère qu’il en sera de même en France où les dates de commémoration sont nombreuses .
    Dans commémoration il y a mémoire , celle qui s’enfuit avec le temps et la disparition des témoins .
    Certains résistants de la première heure de la seconde guerre mondiale ont été intronisés au Panthéon cette semaine à Paris .
    Sachez qu’à 92 ans d’autres continuent à témoigner dans les lycées , les médias , pour lutter contre l’oubli … et la revisite de ces monstruosités .
    Le temps peut-être un allier , mais aussi un ennemi . L’histoire d’aujourd’hui est la continuité , la rupture avec ce passé.

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  6. Here, here! Same could be said about Australia’s ANZAC Day.

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    • I get the whole “we can’t let all that destruction be for nothing” impulse — but why the sunk cost fallacy never ends with people intending to do something real to support current troops and veterans (as opposed to patting them on the back) has always confused me.

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