This is the day we honor the Veteran's who have served our Country in every conflict. (A nicer word than war). Honor them we should. These fine young men and women, many of whom gave their lives for our freedom, indeed, deserve to be honored. There are parades all over this country in virtually every city honoring these men and women.
However, there shouldn't be just one day of honor. Their memories, their lives should be honored every day! Who's to say what would have happened if we didn't win the big one! You know, WWII. Our flag could be German or Japanese right now. But, we did win it, over there...in Europe and in Japan. We lost many young lives in that conflict. Men who could have grown up to be whatever they wanted. Who may have changed the course of our Country. Of course, that's only supposition.
Both my dad and my husband served in WWII. My dad was a bombardier on a B-17 out of England. My husband served in Guam. Unfortunately, my dad died very young, at age 49. My husband is still with me. He remembers.I had friends who served in Vietnam. A conflict in which we had no business. But ever the saviors of the world, we were there. It didn't start as a military conflict, but rather we went as advisor's until it became profitable for us to be there militarily. Not only did we lose young men and women there, but we didn't even honor them when they came home!
They were subjected to name calling and other indignities. These men didn't have a choice to go to war. We still had a draft and if your number was picked, you went! I remember many who went to Canada to avoid the draft and since have been unable to come home. No amnesty for them. Our presence in Vietnam didn't really change anything. When we left, we ran...we took many Vietnamese with us (that was good). However, we just cut and run.
Personally, I don't think that was so terrible. It was a military conflict we couldn't win similar to the one we are in right now. We are not supposed to build nations...but that's what we are doing...or trying to do. We have since the war began 3/19/2003 lost 4,083 young men and women. In combat we have lost 3,329. Since "mission accomplished" was declared, May 1, 2003 we have lost 3,221 in combat. Of course these statistics do not count the ones maimed for life. The ones whose lives have been changed so completely that they are only shells of who they were.
I read recently, that 20,000 who served in Iraq have committed suicide since they returned home. Once again, war is profitable and so it continues. Even those running for office right now have not promised to simply bring our young people home immediately, should they be elected. By the way, the last casualty in Iraq was today, May 26, 2008. Isn't enough, enough!
Our VA System is deplorable, they don't have the resources to take care of the thousands who so desperately need their help. The VA, like so many government agencies is broken and not one of our politicians has an answer for how to fix it. Yet, we continue to elect these people to office. Our generation were such activists, politically.
It is with amazement that I don't see this new generation being at all the activists we were! Isn't it time for a "quiet revolution"? Isn't it time to "throw the bums out"! The politicians who line their pockets and war chests and do not speak up. Our Founding Fathers did not envision politics as a full time career. One was to go into Public Service for a term or two and then go back to their lives.
One was not supposed to make a "career" out of public service. Yet we keep re-electing the same ineffective people to public office. No one speaks out...no one says, "what have you done for me lately". No one seems to care much. As long as their lives aren't changed. Makes me wonder what is going to happen now.
Now that food prices and gasoline prices are at the highest they've ever been, now that the average family of four cannot go out for a day of fun without the cost being so prohibitive that they end up staying home. What do you suppose is going to change. Probably nothing! It's doubtful that most people know, that in spite of inordinately high food prices, especially staples, like milk, bread, cheese, our elected officials have voted to keep farm subsidies in place.
In other words, in spite of the fact that the Dairy Farmer is making more money than ever...the government is still subsidizing him. Giving the Dairy Farmer additional money...hmm, how come the government is doing nothing to subsidize the family of four that makes under $100,000.00. It wouldn't be hard. All our elected officials would have to do is change the tax code and not require a family of four making under $100,000.00 to pay tax.
But then that would never happen. Not in this country. Certainly not now. It's a pity that so many people are more concerned about overturning Roe v Wade than changing some laws that would benefit the many...instead of the few. Which brings me back to my original topic, Memorial Day 2008.
It appears that in spite of the fact that we lost so many in WWI, WWII our history books tell us we won those military conflicts. So how is it that we won...but they have all the money and industry? Oh, now I remember, we helped them to rebuild and then we stopped manufacturing in this country because it became too expensive. So we became a country of service businesses and then we sent those jobs offshore because labor became too expensive.
So here we are, Memorial Day 2008. Honoring the veterans of all previous wars and current ones. The men and women who have so proudly served our country. The greatest country on Earth many would say, including me. Yet we have forgotten one of the most basic principles this country was founded on...our Founding Fathers did not intend for us to be Nation Builders!
Hoping for a better tomorrow,