Politician Dishonors War Dead On Memorial Day

posted May 28, 2007

This is Memorial Day, 2007, the last day of a three-day weekend that America sets aside every year to honor its war dead and its war veterans.

We here in America carry this out with speeches and ceremonies and the playing of Taps at our cemeteries. We hold festive entertainments with patriotic music and songs.

This general celebration, which includes a lot of flag waving and displays of Old Glory in front of our homes and along our streets, is the centerpiece and purpose of this three-day weekend.

Beyond that it's all about fun gatherings of families and friends, eating and drinking and being merry, watching sporting events, traveling or just hanging loose and enjoying the freedom of a holiday.

As a combat veteran of the Vietnam War and as a person who hates needless war, warmongering and phony displays of patriotism, I despise Memorial Day because America does not truly honor her war dead, but dishonors them.

The only way to truly honor our war dead and those that have fought in our wars would be to tell the truth about why they died and why they fought and why there must come a day - in honor of them - when we must put a stop to needless war and the killing and maiming, the ruining of lives and the heartbreak and suffering that comes from it.

The last time an American soldier died or fought for our freedom was World War II. That is the plain fact and the plain truth. To say that any soldier since World War II fought or gave up his life in order that we might enjoy our freedom is a horrible mistake in reasoning.

It is a horrible mistake because it is not just a mistake but a mistake that perpetuates and promotes our insatiable appetite for needless war and needless death and suffering under the guise that it was all for the cause of freedom.

No, it wasn't. Every soldier that has died or fought under the American flag since World War II has done it because of the immoral and wrong-headed policies of our presidents and government leaders, backed by the ignorant and phony patriotism of the masses…those same masses that still believe even to this day that each one of our war dead gave up their lives for our freedom.

No, they didn't. They gave up their lives because they were soldiers doing their duty. Soldiers don't give up their lives or fight for our freedom. They give up their lives because of their duty as soldiers to follow orders…orders that come down from the commander-in-chief and government leaders, backed by the ignorant and phony patriotic masses, and which don't have a thing in the world to do with freedom.

It is understandable why the people believe that our war dead died for our freedom. They want to believe it. They want to believe that our soldiers didn't die in vain but for the great and noble cause of freedom. They need to believe it because it would be too shocking and hateful to their senses to consider the possibility that they all fought and died for nothing.

One can only imagine how much harder it would be for the masses to believe that they themselves must share a part of the blame for our soldiers dying for nothing.

And yet, that is the fact and the plain truth. We dishonor our war dead and call for more of the same every Memorial Day when we sing praises to the lie while the truth lies moldering in the graves of our national cemeteries marked by the many lines of flag fluttering headstones that hear nothing, not even the sound of Taps.

It would do true honor to our war dead if we marked these Memorial Day celebrations with truthful observations and vows that we will go forth and put a stop to these needless deaths caused by these needless wars and that we will now take up the fight for peace and try to make it up to them as much as we can.

Right now, this Memorial Day, 2007, while we are engaged in an illegal and unjust war of our own making in Iraq under the same old guise of freedom that we've been using to make war for more than a half-century, would be a good day to stand up for our war dead who cannot stand up for themselves and say to the president, the government leaders and the mindless masses -we, here and now, declare war on needless war from this time forward.

Never again will we stand idly by while our young are sent off to kill and die for nothing more than for the lying vanity, misguided policies and phony patriotism of our presidents and government leaders backed by the ignorant, rolling thunder of our flag waving masses.

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