Memorial Day was originally meant to be a solemn day of mourning for families, relatives and friends of Americans fallen in warfare.
It has long become an opportunity for jingoistic media, deceiving politicians and recruiting officers to glorify war and warfare as a means of proving one's manhood and patriotism.
We are treated with festive military flags and speeches praising dying in uniform. And every American war is described as having been an honorable war.
But honest Americans will notice the hype and hypocrisy of not permitting families to grieve in peaceful fond remembrance. No, instead of compassion, we witness parades and ceremonies glorifying the death of American men who died killing Koreans in Korea, napalming Vietnamese in Vietnam, bombing Laotians in Laos, Cambodians in Cambodia, killing Panamanians in Panama, Dominicans in the Dominican Republic, Afghanis in Afghanistan, Grenadians in Grenada, Haitians in Haiti and Iraqis in Iraq.
Let's run down the list of so-called heroic actions in which America's warriors have fallen in modern times.
1914-1918, World War I was all about world hegemony and private capital growth with nationalism used as a ploy in whipping up courage and justification to destroy the 'enemy's' ability to compete in trade for land, colonies and natural resources.
In view of the mean spirited aftermath of exploitive arrangements which led directly to World War II, any honoring of the memory of our one hundred sixteen thousand five hundred seventeen grandfathers or great-grandfathers should be done reverently and in dismay, without a thought of waving a flag that the deceased may have mistakenly thought they were dying for.
1915-1934, In Haiti the nineteen yearlong occupation by the U.S. Marine Corp was honored by the death of a hundred forty-six. The Marines ran Haiti for American business interests until Roosevelt's Good Neighbor Policy brought them home. The occupation was self-interested, often brutal and brought the Jim Crow racism reinstituted by President Wilson in Washington and New Orleans down into Haitian society. The local opposition to the occupation among the elite established ties with the NAACP.
A charismatic reforming Roman Catholic priest president of Haiti claimed the U.S. was behind the coup, which overthrew him in 1991. He was reinstated by President Clinton, but destabilized economically and finally spirited out of office on a U.S. plane to a secret destination in the CIA friendly Central African Republic. Though Haiti's population suffers from malnutrition, its yearly balance of payments with the U.S. is always a half billion dollars in the wealthy nation's favor.
1927-1933, in Nicaragua after a continuous U.S. military presence since 1909, forty-eight U.S. Marines fell in the1927 rebellion against that U.S. dominated status quo. The Marines were not withdrawn before they had prepared a National Guard Force left in the hands of a cruel and corrupt dictator beholden to supporting Washington's interests over the following twenty-seven years until overthrown by the Sandinista revolution.
1939-1945, World War II stoked military death up to another level with corporate state fascism efficiency.
Roosevelt, bowing to establishment pressure blocked aid to a Spanish Republic being torn apart for fascism with bombers from Germany and Italy bringing victory to General Franco. Roosevelt also heeded the anti-Jewish attitude of Wall Street as new Jewish firms were challenging the older monopolies' control of the market, and even turned back a huge ship full of Jewish refugees which ultimately meant death for many of those refused permission to land in America. And he and Congress allowed the continued sale of scrap metal to Japan, knowing that it was destined for military manufacturing.
And most importantly, capitalist America and England refused communist Soviet Union's plea for an alliance to contain Hitler, with the idea of letting Nazi Germany eliminate the USSR to benefit Anglo-American imperialism. By the end of the thirties U.S. financial institutions and industries had helped build up the fascist military powers. It was time to pull the capitalist world out of depression, have a righteous military confrontation and for the big banks to have a lovely war for maximum profits and world hegemony for U.S. industrialists and financiers with European competition utterly destroyed and Europe an easy new market for U.S. goods.