Monday May 28, 2012, 9:31 am
You may ask why I, as one who opposes war almost by definition, would want to celebrate the day in which we honor those military service people, who have given their lives in service to America. From my earliest days as an antiwar activist opposing the war in Vietnam, I have believed that it is as important to honor the warriors, as it is to oppose the wars.
I have ponder this question for many years. I think it struck me first in Hawaii when I visited the Arizona, my husband was on R&R from his first tour in Vietnam. Then I saw THE WALL, the question again came to me, do we build this memorials to remember or forget? Do we really honor those sweet young lives that know little of this world, but believe in the patriotic propaganda or are we actually encouraging the next generation to march off to yet another war of choice. A war that gains nothing but profit for the war profiteers, while soldiers die and those who do not die, live with out limbs, or are left fully para-or quadriplegic - those who suffer a life time with PTSD. I know I would feel much better if rather then bumper stickers, we began to supports these young lives with life long medical care, with real programs of education and job placement. We do not, I find I am one of few that makes regular trips to the VA hospital; I can do little but listen and try to be friend. I cry for the memory of the lost lives, I cry for those who have fallen but still live. I am saddened that after all the death and destruction we still hunger for war. For Memorial day I remember that we have still not learned the savage lessons of war.
Monday May 28, 2012, 1:47 pm
Thank you TC. Memorial Day isn't a three day bash, it's a time of reflection on mothers' borther's husbands and father's lost to war. I respect one's right to protest with the caveat that freedom is not free but comes at a terible price. I also want to point out that the Obama administrations is doing its damndest to screw those who have served 20-30 years by maing retiree health care so expensive as to be beyond reach for many. Thus far, most of the changes hare being fought off by setermined supporters in Congress. This isn't about the Pentagon, war but is about a country failing to support its commitments made to career military who risked their lives and gave their prime years to this country.
Monday May 28, 2012, 2:48 pm
thank you, tom.....as someone who is a proud peace-nik and totally anti-war yet I am very disappointed that Memorial Day (let alone Veterans Day) has just become another "day off" and excuse to shop...here in MN we have lots of things open that used to not be, but we also have many nice events to honor those who have served.....the local blood bank, "Memorial", also is open and its one of the busiest days of the year.....
Monday May 28, 2012, 3:20 pm
Thanks Tom I so agree with you, as a protester in the war against Vietnam and I am also anti war, I believe that we should always remember our war heroes and never forget their sacrifices that they have made.
Monday May 28, 2012, 5:02 pm
John G. it seem there is always money to continue the wars with bombs, tanks, planes, so on and so forth, but then this Country can't seem to take care of the ones who put their lives on the line.
Marilyn posted a wonderful video concerning the USS Arizona which I did not know about this particular service that is offered. Very fitting for today if anyone would care to view.
And as the statistics show there are 18 service members taking their own lives DAILY, at the rate of 6,500 a year, loosing more to suicide than to combat, I posted a program that is doing what it can to help the families and the survivors of suicide. Please share this information with others who may need this program or help as a volunteer or donation. The link is below.
Love the soldier not the war. As I say, the soldier usually signs on for noble reasons, but the ones who are calling the shots of military involvement have not shown the same nobelness.
Monday May 28, 2012, 5:25 pm
May all the brave Men & Women, all over the World Be Blessed!!..It is 2012 and Freedom and demacracy, still must be protected and fought for, including here in the USA!...it is just the reality in which we live, and may we also fight for peace at the same time!!..it is 2012!
Monday May 28, 2012, 9:22 pm
What an incredible speech from the heart! I had to smile a little when Biden mentioned "I know how you feel." and the audience laughed. All of us use that phrase and most of us use it with sincerity. But as a trained hospice volunteer, I know that it is wrong --- I cannot understand how another feels, but I can try to imagine how I might feel in the same circumstances. And if I have been in those same circumstances, I can know my feelings (hopefully), but I can never know another's.
One does not have to agree with the war in order to honour the soldiers that answered their country's call, no matter whether a 'righteous' war (if there is such a thing!) or an illegal war of aggression such as that in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Monday May 28, 2012, 9:36 pm
My husband came home from Vietnam with two purple hearts. He was also eligible for a small amount of disability benefits which I felt were well deserved. Shortly after Ronald Reagan took office, my husband received a letter from the Veterans Administration advising that he was required to complete a physical examination. When the injury occurred, the surgeons decided to leave some of the shrapnel in place because it was situated in close proximity to his heart and lungs and they felt that scar tissue would form over the shrapnel --which was a safer option given the circumstances they were in. When my husband showed up for his VA-mandated physical exam, the doctor at the V.A. Hospital pressed his finger into each depression and told him the examination was over. No x-rays, no questions about the incident or about how he felt. He was more interested in the cigarette he was smoking than he was in my husband's health and well-being. Shortly afterward he received a letter advising that his disability benefits were being discontinued. Our family doctor was outraged! He took it upon himself to start a small war with the Veterans Administration over the way my husband had been treated and the discontinuation of his disability benefits, but to no avail.
The Vietnam veterans were treated like dirt, and Ronald Reagan did nothing but rub salt in their wounds. Losing the small, monthly disability check was of little consequence. The lack of respect and gratitude hurt very much.
Monday May 28, 2012, 9:53 pm
I'm sorry Susanne, it is too many stories like your husbands that makes my heart cry in shame for how our so called Leadership treats us all. It is as you say, the lack of respect given and no gratitude. As I'm of that generation I've watched school friends who came back suffering from their battle wounds and their feelings of total defeat by a Government that did little to even so much as you say, respect them as human beings. I do know many names that should be on that Wall, but they won't be there, but it was VietNam that killed them, it just happened later. Self inflicted gun shot to the head, Agent Orange that left them so ill they couldn't hold a steady job yet the Veterans Administration offered no help....so they took the final solution.
Too many stories I know, and yet here they go sending in a new crop of men and now women to be used and abused. I'm so darn sick of it, and for the life of me I still can't understand why I'm one of the few people standing out along side of the road year after year with my sign! Not enough people give a shite and so they do it to our youth generation after generation. What is wrong with the people of this Country, they all deaf dumb and blind?
Monday May 28, 2012, 10:57 pm
The purpose of "Memorial Day", as Kit B. suspects, is to ERASE our memory and clear the state, so that our rulers can proceed with their next war, their next killing spree. We are not supposed to remember the lies that were used to stampede us into the previous war; in this way, the lies can be recycled again and again.
Above all, we are NOT supposed to remember the SPECIFICS of 9/11. For example, none of the alleged hijackers were Iraqi and none were Afghani, yet 9/11 has been used as a pretext for butchering these two countries.
The Downing Street Memos prove that Bush and Blair lied deliberately about Iraq. And yet we "progressives" assume that Bush and Cheney told us the Gospel Truth about 9/11 -- that the Official 9/11 Conspiracy Theory they peddled is carved in stone, never to be questioned. Our failure to investigate 9/11 allows our rulers to USE 9/11 as a pretext for attacking anybody anywhere.
Our failure to investigate tells our rulers that we REALLY DON"T CARE WHO attacked us on 9/11. It says that we will believe WHATEVER we are told to believe, however absurd. So one year, we can be told that Afghanistan perpetrated 9/11, and two years later, we can be told that Iraq perpetrated 9/11, and 10 years later, that Iran perpetrated 9/11 -- and it never occurs to us that we are being lied to, again and again and again.
When we failed to insist on an investigation, we declared our indifference to truth and justice. That indifference is what makes endless war possible.
How long will it take us to finally realize that the truth about 9/11 MATTERS? The lie about 9/11 is the root of a global coup that involves the destruction of country after country in the Middle East, along with the destruction of freedom in the U.S.. We cannot regain our freedom, so long as we allow the lie to stand.
Tuesday May 29, 2012, 6:21 am
Thanks Tom. I am anti-war and have been for years yet I struggle with what, if anything, our country should do regarding Syria. Boots on the ground? Talking does not work with terrorists and out of control rulers.
I honor all those who have served and been killed or maimed but wonder at the attitude that the USA must always be the supreme leader of all and the constant rhetoric from our Generals that we must continue on yet they themselves are doing the fighting.
@ John G - All medical costs are going up, all insurances are raising their rates. Are you blaming Obama for this? Are you saying your rates haven't gone up in the past several years while Big Insurance continues padding their pockets? Obamacare stops a lot of the unethical treatment the insurance companieis have forced on us. No, it is not perfect but please tell me what the GOP has in mind? Has ever done? Will ever do? Nothing to me, just whore themselves out for more contributions from those same companies.
Your report has been submitted to Customer Service. Thank you.
There was a problem submitting your report. Please try again later.
Tuesday May 29, 2012, 7:16 am
I also think it is important to honor the men and women who gives thier lives for all Americans for freedom and safety. I have never been for war. But I also understand that without war how can one have freedom? Is is as simple as everyone coming together to work out differences? Is it to late? The GOP have made it there goal to be the warriors of war. How much of that is a joke? For as much as they disrespect people of color,gender and sexual sexual orientation. They feel it is ok to fight but not to have the respect that goes with it. We now have a president who gives that respect. Also who shows there is a better way besides war of killing each other. If we are to go forward we can not let the GOP/Tea party take back that power they are so willing to destory our country to get.
Tuesday May 29, 2012, 9:37 am
Thank you, Tom. I wrote ion this suject on another threrad earlier so I won;t repeat meyself here. All I will say is...my father bought me the right to be anti-war with his service to his country. This is not a day for fun-having for me. This is a day to honor those who have fallen for our rights to do and be as we are.
Tuesday May 29, 2012, 10:38 am
Thank you to so many of you for your comments --- Kit, Susanne, Dandelion . . .
Something that bothers me is that we are starting this cycle of ignoring our vets again --- not just in the US, but Canada too! We are seeing vets of Afghanistan being put through so much to get benefits that are needed but all too often denied. We are seeing soldiers homeless because adjusting back to civilian life has been problematic. In addition, vets are returning to economic conditions such that jobs are lacking.
We ask people (soldiers) to go to foreign countries, away from their usual family support, to kill other people --- most people were and are not "built" for this. Each life taken robs the soul of the good person who is just doing what his country asks of him. But when he returns, his country virtually ignores him. And why? Because of the costs of treatment. Too often it is about the almighty dollar. The 'after care' is more extensive and costly than budgets allowed for.
My stepfather was a Canadian paratrooper in Europe during WWII. He refused to talk about his experiences because they were so black, so devastating. He managed to parcel them up in his mind so they didn't spill out, so he was the only one that had to deal with them. I wonder what he would say today about the wars where women and children are targets of suicide bombers, of drones, of their own people trying to inflict fear and compliance and hatred for the enemy.
Dandelion "...but it was VietNam that killed them, it just happened later. Self inflicted gun shot to the head, Agent Orange that left them so ill they couldn't hold a steady job yet the Veterans Administration offered no help....so they took the final solution."
And as Dandelion said, "it just happened later". So it is considered to be non war related and somehow not worthy of recognition? BS!!!!!
It is past time we learned from history. It is time, as the song says, "I ain't gonna study war no more."
There is only one way to honor our Veterans, that is with free life medical care, disability for injuries that will interupt their abilities in life, Currently for those who do have some medical benefits they can beremoved by the whim of a VET doctor as Susanne discaribed above, and the wait for medical attention, waiting 80 days is not help. Medals mean little when the need for education and or job training is ignored, the blood spilled for corporate profit is ignored. We wrap it up, carved some names in stone and move on to next war of choice.
I keep wondering Charles, as you mentioned 9/11 why it is that Russia and the not the United States erected a true monument to the memory of that day.
If you have not seen this moving monument then pictures can be seen here:
Tuesday May 29, 2012, 4:43 pm
I am a day late, but will post anyway. I have never said "Happy Memorial Day" It should be a day of remembrance. Yes, I am happy for the working people who get that extra day off and the school children. Working as a nurse, I always offered to work the Holiday and allow people to be with Family and remember their loved ones who lost their lives defending our freedoms. I am so fortunate to have never lost a friend or loved one in the Wars.