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"Happy Mother's Day" from Uncle Sam

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On Sunday, May 11th millions of mothers around this Country, and the world, were wished a very “Happy Mother’s Day.” They received phone calls from family members not close enough to visit, cards, flowers and breakfast in bed.  Dinner out and lots of merry happy talk about nothing but how lucky they were to have their family, and beautiful children. 

 

What they don’t know is this “happy day of celebration” was started in 1870 with a “Mother’s Day Proclamation” by Julia Ward Howe, recanting the tragedies of war, as she, in part, wrote: 


"We will not have questions answered by irrelevant agencies,
Our husbands will not come to us, reeking with carnage,
For caresses and applause.
Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn
All that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience.
We, the women of one country,
Will be too tender of those of another country
To allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs." ….

“Disarm!! Disarm!!”

 

And she went on to beg for interests of peace. 

 

Thanks to good old consumerism and the likes of Hallmark making profits, it turned into a day of happy talk.  Except for those of us who are caught in the quagmire of this war.  You know the one I am talking about.  The never ending war, with death and destruction that only military families and their loved ones who are fighting and dying for know about. 

 

Thousands of mothers last Sunday were not making happy talk.  I know I wasn’t.  Last week alone 9 more U.S. soldiers were killed, a total of 12 in just 11 days of May, making the total dead now 4,077, and over 40,000 wounded.  Iraqi casualties for 11 days of May were 218 (see http://icasualties.org/oif/), and countless soldiers and Iraqis wounded.   Oh, by the way, “Happy Mother’s Day.”

 

However, what about all those mothers who are also wives of soldiers, who received the happy news of redeployment?  Does the general public, or Hallmark and our Government, care about those families on Mother’s Day?  Countless mothers were told that Uncle Sam was sending someone very close to them back to war, maybe the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, or 12th time.  Who cares?  America made happy talk. 

 

I am one such woman.  My son told me that he was leaving for Iraq, that he got redeployment papers from the good old USMC.  Yippie! “Happy Mother’s Day”for me.  Should I call my representative, Congressman Vito Fossella, and complain to him?  Oh, I forgot he should be in jail, but isn’t, and has a love child, but is still my Congressman.  Should I tell my 85 year old mother who suffered 2 deployments of her grandson already, and was so looking forward to going out to dinner that beautiful Sunday afternoon.  Guess not. 

 

“Suck it up,” I told myself once again.  A human being cannot survive in a perpetual state of being angry, it isn’t healthy, so it is said.  Therefore, I sat in silence, steaming, crying, yelling, and very much paralyzed that not only did my son, who is a reservist, have to go back to a war zone for the 3rd time, but I could do absolutely positively nothing about it.  I begged him to run away, but he said he can’t allow his “buddies” to go without him.  They were a team, and he couldn’t stand knowing they were fighting and possibly dying while he would be considered a coward.  “No!” I said, the courageous thing is to say you won’t go fight in this illegal, immoral war. I told him “If you all just say “No” then there will be no one left to fight.”   He told me he understood that and how bad it was in Iraq, but he had to be with the USMC.  All the military moms out there understand this paradox.

 

So much for tantrums.  So how many women do you think really enjoyed that day?  Only those who live in “la-la land,” as we call it, and it must be a great place.  The women who live there are so totally unaffected by the deaths of other sons and husbands, that they don’t give a damn.

 

I came to work Monday morning, tired and numb.  Every woman who “celebrated” asked me the usual office question “How was your Mother’s Day?,” with that lilt of a smile in their voice.  Hah! I had no answer, just a grunt and a nod.  Of course, they just think I am a rude and miserable person.  So?  In the meantime, the voice in my head is yelling many profanities in their direction, but my lips remained sealed. 

 

Enough!  Stop bothering me and my son, AND my family.  If you want a war, have a draft!  All of you have inflicted enough pain on the small, less than 1% of the population, the military families who have taken on the entire burden of your damn war.

 

Let all these other happy-go-lucky moms feel as crappy as I do.  Don’t they deserve to share in the wealth of war and all it has to bring to the table?  I think they should because I hate them.  All the women I know go shopping, eat, talk endlessly about how wonderful their kids are and other such nonsense.  What do you say in return?  You stink!  Suffer, you stupid cow!  Let there be a draft and see if you go shopping, or feel like going out to dinner. 

 

Oh, by the way “Happy Mother’s Day!”

 

http:/elaine.worldcantwait.net

Anti-war activist, mother of three combat tour US marine; member of the national steering committee for the "World Can't Wait" www.worldcantwait.net and member of Military Families Speak Out (my opinions do not reflect the national position of MFSO).
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