May 28, 2012

Some Thoughts on Memorial Day

While most Americans enjoy a long holiday weekend, Memorial Day is about remembering and honoring those who fought to ______________  (insert your own words).  What did you think of?

The wedding photo of an Iraq war veteran and his bride
In the Hunger Games, extra food was given to those who put their names in the pool to be drafted for a fight-to-the-death game. The poor, obviously, did it more often, because they didn't have many  other choices to provide for themselves and family.

In the 19th c. a British cabin boy was killed and eaten so others could survive in the lifeboat. Is something like this unacceptable under all circumstances?

This group, like all other societies, made a decision that some have to be sacrificed to save the community and its values. Often the ones to be sacrificed are given no choice in the matter. When the greater community decides to send off its "cabin boys" to fight in a war, it's understood that sacrifice (death) will ensue.

In a voluntary system, who are the ones who opt for the "hunger games"?

The number was high, we knew that, but here's what I found: 18 current soldiers and veterans (of our last 2 wars) commit suicide every day on average. More deaths by suicide than by combat casualties since 2001. In addition to the 6,500 dead (both wars), the 35,000 injured (some very seriously, crippled for life), the hundreds of thousands civilian deaths, the cost of war is not just in dollars by in changed human lives! Changed, as in seriously and adversely changed!

Life goes on....  and, with benefits, if you're lucky, or if our country makes good choices.

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