Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial Day

The last day of a 3-day weekend; the official start of summer; the weekend many Americans kill themselves on the highway, too drunk to see straight at the wheel. Picnics, baseball, barbeques. Family gatherings. Gatherings of friends. Party, party, party.

Or, honoring our soldiers who have fallen in various wars. From the Minute Men who fought the Revolutionary War; the soldiers, North and South, who fought over the Union of North & South; the soldiers who died in the trenches of both World Wars; the soldiers who died in Korea; in Viet Nam; in the Gulf; in Iraq; in Afghanistan.

It is not the soldiers who I have issue with. It is those people in the highest offices who believe that war is ever a solution. They send young men and women to fight THEIR fight, while they sit behind their desks, guarded and separated from the wishes of their people. Our soldiers are brave, and risk their lives for the hubris of others.

My son-in-law never knew his father. His father was MIA in Vietnam, and eventually found dead there, killed in action. His name is on the Vietnam Memorial in Washington, that sleek long granite tombstone that so elegantly and heartbreakingly marks that war. That police action. That disaster that ripped our nation apart. I am sorry I am not in Washington, placing flowers at the place that shows his name. Instead, I will recall our fallen, and reflect on peace.


robin andrea said...

Wars are started by psychopaths, enjoined by believers, and fought by innocents. When will we ever learn?

D.K. Raed said...

It is a hard day. And for those of us who went through that disastrous debacle called Viet Nam, it is even harder to watch the same hubristic mindset swung back into action in Iraq.

I've only seen the touring replica, but the names on The Wall really catch you up. So much death, and for what? Same question today, for what?

And I hate like hell that we are now being prepped & greased for iran. We've got to stop this Helter Skelter ride.

DivaJood said...

Robin, the parallels with Vietnam are exhausting. I am reminded of the last line of 100 Years of Solitude: "because races condemned to one hundred years of solitude did not have a second opportunity on earth."

DK, when I went to DC to see the wall 20 years ago, I felt like I had stumbled upon holy ground. The wall rises up out of the earth, becoming higher and higher as it reaches the center, then descends back into the earth. It is a giant grave marker. It is elegant, and humble, and respectful. The emotional wollop it gives cannot be described in words.