It’s another Memorial Day. The annual chance for everyone to post some sentiment about honoring those who died “protecting our freedom.” Really? Do people actually believe that the soldiers who’ve died since 1945 were protecting our freedom?
I don’t in any way mean to disparage those who suffered and/or died while wearing a uniform. I am saddened and sickened at such a waste of life and potential, and for all the suffering endured by their families. But I have to be honest: These are victims of the corporate military-industrial complex. They are victims of propaganda and jingoism (i.e. patriotism). Their deaths are tragic, but have nothing to do with protecting our freedoms.
Vietnam, Korea, Nicaragua, Lebanon, Grenada, Libya, Panama, Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, The Philippines, Columbia, Syria, etc. have never been a threat to our freedom. They have only, if at all, been a threat to some U.S. corporation’s freedom to make a profit. The only attacks that have been made on our freedoms have come from our government and our corporations, and often these attacks are backed up by someone wearing a uniform with an American flag on the sleeve, rather than the flag of one of our so-called enemies.
The reason I’m writing this (and taking the risk of offending some people) is that I believe until we observe this holiday with honesty; that is to say, until we use it to mourn the tragic and avoidable loss to the youth of our nation, to recognize (however painful it may be) that these soldiers are not heroes but victims, we will only be making it easier to send off a new generation to kill and die for causes which have nothing to do with democracy and freedom.
Today is not an occasion to wave a flag and perpetuate empty rhetoric about freedom and glory. It’s a day to mourn and to dedicate ourselves to stopping such horrid madness from continuing.
Love and peace to my friends (and to those we’re told are our enemies).
(P.S. – I know some who are reading this will be angered and offended and may leave comments reflecting such. That’s okay. That’s one of the freedoms that you have because you’re a human. No one gives you that freedom. No one protects that freedom for you. No one can take it away. But if you find yourself angry, take a moment to ask yourself why. Could it be that you have bought into the propaganda that uses Memorial Day to make us willing to allow killing in our name and with our money? Something to think about.)