Memorial Day 2012 - Honor the Dead, Heal the Wounded, Stop the Wars
Memorial Day is day which celebrates militarism and justifications are made for all the deaths wars cause. Or there arelots of holiday sales. Neither of those work too well for me, they are not consistent with my values.
Today, there was an alternative observance for Memorial Day which worked a lot better for me. The radio and television
show Democracy Now celebrated the acts of veterans of war who were brave enough to make statements about what they were
doing and then threw their medals towards the NATO summit this past week. I've listened to the program once, and watched it
twice, just taken with these brave acts, hearing the words of those who were in the military, experienced being at war in Iraq or Afghan, and denouncing and often apologizing for their participation in these wars.
One of the most consistent points I heard in interviews on the show, was how many people joined the military because they needed to earn more money, they couldn't find a job, or couldn't find a job which paid them sufficiently to support a family. That's not news to me, but it made a strong impression on me - how connected militarism is with greed, and how those in power are those with money, and do not need to be affected by the harsh results of the decisions made to go to war, to spend trillions of dollars for destruction, making the rich who own defense companies richer, and destroying the lives of so many. Listening to the mother whose son committed suicide after returning from a second tour of duty in Iraq and he did not get the mental health care that he obviously needed, brought home how many lives are affected by a family member being in the military. Not only is the person serving in the military affected, but also the families, the friends, people who care about them.
The theme for the protests in Chicago was Honor the Dead, Heal the Wounded, Stop the Wars. One of the most hopeful interews on the Democracy Now show was with a veteran and an Afghan woman representing Afghans for Peace. Listening to them gives me some hope, and reaffirms my knowledge that for things to change, people have to act.
Please watch Democracy Now, perhaps have some tissues nearby, and think about what you might
want to do regarding the wars that the United States is imposing on people around the world.
Here's one possibility - from United for Justice and Peace - http://salsa.democracyinaction.org/o/302/p/dia/action/public/? action_KEY=10639">Tell your members of Congress to listen to Lt. Col. Daniel
Davis Thursday, May 31 as he reports on the true state of the American military campaign in Afghanistan.
Lt. Col. Davis, who recently returned from Afghanistan, has written a declassified report detailing the actual state of
affairs in Afghanistan. His report illustrates that talks of progress in Afghanistan are flawed and nothing like the story
our soldiers have experienced on the ground.