Happy Thanksgiving to one and all. May we soon, somehow, give thanks for a more peaceful and just world. Here’s an essay by Joyce Marcel, courtesy of Common Dreams:
At a concert last week in Massachusetts, Bob Dylan sang an old, old song called “John Brown,” while I imagined his head spinning with whiplash from the deja vu.
Why? The song, which he wrote in 1963, is today’s answer to “stay the course” and every dusty metal yellow ribbon stuck on cars and pick-up trucks in America.
A mother sends her son to war to do her proud: “Do what the captain says, lots of medals you will get, and we’ll put them on the wall when you come home.”
But her son comes home blind, his face all shot off, his hand gone, and a metal brace around his waist. He can’t talk well, but he says, “I couldn’t help but think, through the thunder rolling and stink, that I was just a puppet in a play.” Then he drops his medals into his stunned mother’s hands and walks away.
It’s hard to fault the mothers and fathers who supported the Bush wars. They trusted their government. They trusted their president. They were lied to. They were terribly misled.
Thanksgiving is the day we’re supposed to be thankful for things: for family, for the true bounty of America from sea to shining sea, for turkey dinners whether they are caged or free-range, and for the recent election that threw out one of the most corrupt Congresses we’ve seen in many years.
So why am I spitting mad this Thanksgiving?
Because there will be too many empty chairs and empty sleeves this Thanksgiving. Too many mothers and fathers with cold medals in their hands. Too many men and women not coming back, or living in hospitals and rehabilitation centers, or still serving in hostile lands. [full text]