In response to an article shared with me today, I happened to mention to a friend that I am not a huge fan of Memorial Day. Our brief conversation birthed this blog entry.
I have started to detest flag waving. It seems like such a harmless little thing, but to me it is a representation of how completely indoctrinated we all are. Every spring my town holds an armed services torchlight parade. I have traditionally always gone to the parade with my family. This year I just couldn’t do it. You stand and clap when the various branches go by, the veterans of foreign wars, etc. But the family members of recently fallen also go by, with their big memorial pictures of loved ones – mostly very young – that they have lost.
And that group just keeps getting bigger.
I was really impacted, last year, by how big that group was. And while they were walking by, I was thinking that those young servicemen/women are always told they are “fighting for their country,” and how we are told – and tell ourselves – that they are “fighting for our freedom.” And it’s all a load of crap. If they were, actually, fighting for their country, then the fact that we have not gone to war constitutionally since WWII, would matter. The fact that war has been a huge tool to expand the already out-of-control executive branch, would matter. The usurpation of rights, and the heavy hand of government that falls ever harder while they are deployed, would matter.
If military personnel were fighting these many wars for our freedom, then there should be more freedom! Not so much less! It’s not the case. I wonder, do they know? Do they care that each conflict that takes their lives, also subverts our own rule of law? Maybe they are figuring it out, and that’s part of why the suicide rate amongst returning military is scandalous. That and the fact that nobody wants to think about their potential troubles once they are home, parades or no. Many are loved though, and so nobody wants to say the truth: most of them are dying for nothing good. Fodder for our increasingly careless government. I will grieve for them in my heart, but don’t ask me to wave a flag with the crowd. There is nothing here to celebrate.