Memorial Day. Start of summer. Nod to wear white. Day of picnics and BBQs. A reason for endless sales. The twin of Labor Day; constantly being confused and inverted, and equally misunderstood by those who are just so thrilled to have a three-day weekend.
But Memorial Day is to honor the fallen men and women who have served in actions past and current; it is a somber holiday if you really soak it all in. What makes it even more bitter to me is that by all rights, so many of those people should never have died.
Not because they were inherently better than someone else, or because there was a mistake — a plan gone wrong. But merely because in so many circumstances, we just shouldn’t have been where we were, trying to accomplish what we were trying to accomplish (and failing, many times).
It’s because people who ever-increasingly don’t have a stake in the matter send *other* people’s sons and daughters into perilous situations without a second thought. Because we do not learn from history — ours or other countries’. Because we insist that we have the only way to live and try to get to see others to see it — by any means necessary. All of these reasons are not reasons to fight. And there are so many more ridiculous reasons that people use to justify these deaths every day.
In the last half of the 20th century and the beginning of the new millenium, there’s really nothing but our own fear, pride, greed and ego that send us traversing the globe, fighting unwinnable fights. It’s not saving the world from slavery or fighting Hitler. It’s us sticking our nose in other countries’ business and lying to convince the American people we’re doing the right thing.
What I find so fascinating (and by fascinating, I mean perplexing and infuriating and ridiculous) is the people on the right who are just CRAZED about the four deaths in Benghazi. Never mind that there were many embassy/consulate attacks under Bush (with many more casualties) OR that whatever ‘cover-up’ these people imagine went down *pales* in comparison to the litany of lies that Bush/Cheney told to get a war in Iraq. And that’s IF there was a cover-up, which seems dubious in light of the non-evidence. But, even if it was stone-cold calculated cunning, it is a pittance compared to the whole of the Bush Administration.
But, that’s not really even my point — Bush, Obama, all of the people in power. As the prison-industrial complex grows at an alarming rate, the war machine continues to crank out machines to kill and wars to fight. And all without a thought of the actual humans who are fighting them OR on the unfortunate end of the fallout.
Some people probably won’t care for the political tone of this post, but you know what? Bring the troops home. That’s a good way to stop anymore from dying.