Memorial Day

There’s a house on my street with two flagpoles in the yard, an American flag and a POW/MIA flag. The Vietnam War had all the boys in my high-school class wondering what their draft number would be. The rich always had a way out, but that war reaped the young men of the middle and working class.

Now, not so much shared sacrifice. How volunteer is our military when so many young people can’t find a job or afford college? What should we give up before we put the first soldier in harm’s way? Cheap gas? Defense jobs? Tax cuts?

Every soldier lost leaves a space in the place they should have been. A parent, a child, a brother or sister, a friend or lover.

When soldiers come home, they need support. Not as troops, but as citizens. Jobs, health care, housing, safety, respect– what we all need.

Keeping the peace happens here.

Greater City:Providence has a tribute to all the Rhode Islanders who died in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

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3 responses

  1. I got an e mail from the widow of one of my closest buddies in Vietnam who was killed on his last day in country along with 11 other members of the unit.
    I had discovered a Vietnam memorial site in April where one could leave reflections on a page for each casualty.
    The last entry on his page had been six years ago.
    About a month ago his wife emailed me that she had just found the site and was very glad to see he’d been remembered.Apparently all the other entries were from people he’d grown up with.
    So,when she wrote me again,I told her some things about how I knew her husband and how we’d planned to get together back in the States.She had remarried but after having a child,she wound up getting divorced in 1981 and never married again.She said her husband was a hard act to follow.
    I said that I didn’t believe it was just chance that she found the site shortly after I did.
    I always find this a tough holiday-the pain for those who lost a loved one in war just doesn’t go away.It’s not a day for barbecues-July 4th is the one for that.
    My brother in law told my wife to wish me a happy Memorial Day.What a blockhead.She told him as much.
    Today’s soldiers have to go for two,three,sometimes four combat tours.That would never be imposed on draftees.
    You’re right-a lot of people sign up nowadays for reasons of necessity or to help afford an education,etc and then the government feels entitled to keep using them beyond reason.
    Now Obama thinks he can continue the insane Libyan operation without Congressional approval.
    Are you ok with that?
    As much as you dislike Bush(he’s not my favorite pres either)he did go to Congress.

    1. Thanks for your comment. There’s nothing to match the perspective of someone whose been there.
      I agree with you that undeclared wars are a way of getting around the separation of powers that should constrain a president. We should have learned that with the Korean war.

      1. I think the Korean War may have been a different situation because the US placed itself at the service of the UN in response to the invasion of South Korea by North Korea.
        I don’t know if the question of separation of powers arose at the time.
        The term “police action” was used in the Korean War,which is referred to as the “Korean Conflict”.
        That actually was not the beginning of euphemistic designations for wars.
        Just think how many undeclared wars we had in the 20th Century
        the Boxer Rebellion,Pershing’s campaign against Villa,the Philippine Insurrection,and the “banana wars’referring to our repeated campaigns in Hati,Nicaragua,and El Salvador.
        Let’s not forget the War of Intervention in 1919 in Siberia.
        How many history classes mention that?

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