Monday, May 31, 2010

Honoring our war dead

I think the best way to honor our war dead is to stop making so many of them.

Not just the dead. How about those who, as my father put it, "left their marbles on the battlefield"? Those who will spend the rest of their days - if they're lucky - in and out of the underfunded and over-capacity VA medical system? Those who will spend the rest of their days on the streets? Those who have been turned into machines designed for combat, who find it impossible to fit back into a society of mattress tags and leash laws and the billion mundane details of non-combat life?

Even on this day, as we Americans remember our war dead by swilling beer and gorging on hamburgers and hot dogs, forces on the other side of the world are engaging in actions that will have consequences far beyond their pathetic little backwater. Actions that have resulted in deaths. Consequences that will eventually result in many more deaths.

War isn't going to end anytime soon.

But in the meantime, maybe we can honor America's war dead by being the country that these people fought and died for: the United States of America.

UPDATE: Link added to Surviving Peace Is the Real Challenge: Junger - Newsweek, an excerpt from Sebastian Junger's book "War"

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