"War is only a cowardly escape from the problems of peace." --Thomas Mann
I skipped the annual Memorial Day festivities in 2013 and plan to do so again this year. I can no longer stomach hyperbolic speeches delivered by corrupt politicians intent on spoon-feeding the righteousness of war. I refuse to swallow it.
They say I must support the troops, for it is unpatriotic to do otherwise. I say: Suppose they gave a war and nobody came?
I wish our deployed military could be at home with their own people on Memorial Day 2014, stuffing themselves with hot dogs, apple pie and cold beer. I wish I could hear them sing the national anthem with a high school band and see them waving miniature flags to the beat of 'Stars and Stripes Forever.'
I respect soldiers for the sacrifices they make each day. I honor their courage. But too many of them are just kids who should be making a deal to buy their first car, registering for college, getting married, listening to the first gasp of breath from their newborn baby.
But they are in the Middle East fighting, convinced that it will protect us from misguided religious terrorists intent on killing us all. I applaud them for their willingness to give up so much of themselves for our country, but I would rather them be firing up the barbecue instead of firing guns in the name of Old Glory.
Fast-talking politicians coerced many of the soldiers fighting in this man's army. They volunteered because they believed that the former Commander-in-Chief knew what he was doing. They were fed the political fodder that 'to fight them over there' meant we would not have to 'fight them over here,' and they swallowed it whole.
So many of those soldiers were children not so long ago, some brought up in religious homes where grace was said before meals, the Golden Rule memorized before learning the alphabet. Turning a deaf ear to logic and common sense, these grown children followed orders, even when the orders included torture.