Monday, May 31, 2010

Editorial: We forget heroes at our own peril

The unnamed Courier editor waxes adjectival today: "we need to remember that more than 1 million American men and women gave their lives in steaming jungles, freezing forests, rancid flooded trenches and desert furnaces to win us the freedom to go where we want to go, choose the work we want to do and buy the things we want to buy."

The things we want to buy?

Yeesh.

I'd just like to put in a word here for the large proportion of those dead, and many more maimed and emotionally destroyed, who knew going in or learned in the process that what our leaders asked them to do was stupid, pointless or designed only to further enrich the rich, but they still did as they had pledged to do before they lost their innocence about war, and they did it with valor in the fight, generosity in victory and concern for the horror they were helping visit on the innocent.

The best way we can honor their sacrifice is to do all we can to end the institution of war.

PS, Tuesday:
Just what is the "peril" in the headline supposed to mean, I wonder? Could it be something like this?

4 comments:

coyoteradiotheater said...

Speaking as a vet, the thing about patriotic out-pourings of sentiment - Memorial Day, Veterans' Day, etc. that most pisses me off - is how uncritical they are.

I will give you a clue - most men and women who gave their sacrifice for their country - large or small - would have rather gone on a picnic like you all are going today. This is one of the things that makes America great, we are not as keen on killing foreigners and taking their stuff as many countries have been.

But, let's face it. Some of our wars weren't all that damn necessary, as we found out later. Maybe our troops would rather we stopped pissing them away every time diplomacy got really,really hard and you thought it would just be so much simpler and satisfying to "kick some azz!"

How about the rest of y'all make the real sacrifices that support the sacrifices you ask of your soliders/sailors/airmen and marines?

Do not put a flag sticker on the SUV whose gas-guzzling drove your troops to war. It is disrespecting their sacrifice.

Steven Ayres said...

Well said, Andy.

David said...

You may be speaking of the current Afghan/Iraq war which was initiated by others than Americans (at least the Afghan segment). You may be speaking of Vietnam or Korea. But if were not for those who stepped up to fight in WWI and WWII we could well be paying tribute to our German Chancellor or Japanese Emperor. Or, going even further back, were it not for those who fought and won our own Civil War, we could very well be masters of our own little plantations with our own slave fieldhands. Or going back further yet, were it not for those who fought and died and those who ultimately triumphed in the American Revolution, we could be paying homage today to the honorable British Prime Minister and her Majesty the Queen. Not all wars are unjust, though the ones you choose to remember are at least questionable. All that being said, Memorial Day and Veterans Day are not about the wars, they are about the soldiers, those who died in the service of their country, AND those who fought and lived, and those who served at all. It's not about the politics involved, it's about those who serve and did serve.

coyoteradiotheater said...

That would be why I used the word "some." It was the key word in that paragraph.

I am suggesting that treating the necessity of sacrificing our troops in World War II and the necessity of sacrificing them in Iraq are not the same thing. For the Daily Courier to say our brave men and women gave the ultimate sacrifice so we can buy what we want to buy is to devalue their sacrifice.

My Uncle Franz did not give his life at the Battle of the Bulge so you can buy what you want to buy. He volunteered, against the wishes of his father, because he was an anti-Fascist who knew Nazism was an evil that had to be confronted. The same thing with my Uncle Gabe when he took a machine gun bullet in the war before that.

I am suggesting that Waving the Red Shirt again and again about our troops sacrifice is not as valuable a service to our troops as not getting them into a preventable war in the first place.

And there is such thing as a preventable war. Swear.