Memorial Day 2006
by James Glaser
Memorial Day is the day we set aside to remember those veterans who never made it home after their war. As a child, the services I went to with my family were to honor those killed in World War II and Korea. My children would remember Memorial Day more for those who died in Vietnam. Today, my grandchildren might be thinking of those who have been killed in Iraq and Afghanistan.
For me everything tends to blur together. I think of my father's generation and how they left so many on the battlefields of WW II and Korea. Then I think of the guys who died in my war, Vietnam. Even those deaths from the Vietnam War are starting to fade from memory if one of the dead wasn't from your immediate family. Every year the fresh graves start to take center stage in any service you attend. This year there are 2,759 new graves from George Bush's wars. Uncounted are the 332 civilian contractors killed also. Those men and women have taken jobs in the combat zone that in the past would have been filled by our military.
We have no numbers for the civilian mercenary army we as a nation employ in both Iraq and Afghanistan, but you know their families think of their dead loved ones on Memorial Day too.
Every Memorial Day I think about all the troops who made it back to the States, but never really make it home. There are veterans in hospitals all over this country who are so injured that they will never leave their wards, maybe they will never leave their bed, but usually we forget that they gave their all for this country.
Then there are the thousands, no make that, tens of thousands of veterans who were never the same when they came home. Many of them live alone, some by choice, and others because they just can't get along in the "real world." I always think of them on Memorial Day.
Most people think of how those veterans who died, did so defending our nation. I can feel that way for those from the Second World War, but since then, in war after war, our troops have died either for some politician's lie or to make money for the military industrial contractors..
No nation has really attacked us since Pearl Harbor, and if you read a lot about that, you can believe that was a set-up too. American wars are a cash cow for some rich people, and they make their money by shedding the blood of many fine young Americans. I think about that every Memorial Day, and I think what a waste that is. Then I wonder how many more must die this next year, so that the rich can get richer. and those in Washington who lust for power, will get their fix.
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