( – promoted by buhdydharma )
I’ve always had a hard time with this day. I’ve always had a hard time with the military, understanding my own feelings about those who, with the power of government behind them, put guns in the hands of young men and women and teach them how to kill.
Here we are in the 21st Century, and we are still doing this, putting weapons in the hands of young men and women, sending them out to kill human beings.
We hear the usual sayings, “they chose to serve,” “to protect and defend,” “those who died are heros,” all those things.
I wonder what Americans really want when it comes to protecting and defending.
Memorial Day has become in our modern world a day to remember those who died for the sake of protecting and defending our country.
I see the names, I read the IGTNT diaries over at Daily Kos, showing the pictures of those killed in war, showing their families and friends, telling of their lives, their interests, dreams, ambitions.
Protect and defend.
They chose to serve.
What is it we are now protecting and defending? The right of a criminal misAdministration to continue to run roughshod over our country? Who is protecting and defending us from these crooks? Are they not the biggest threat to us all?
Those who are profiting off human suffering, who are making their business to enrich their own coffers at the expense of others, who is protecting and defending us from them?
And when we were attacked on 9/11, how were we protected and defended by destroying a country and so many, too many, of its people, a country that never attacked us?
They chose to serve. Who are they serving? And why?
It’s difficult to write about this. I don’t want armies glorified any more. Even when the cause is just, I still don’t feel it is heroic to kill other human beings. I feel it is heroic not to kill other human beings.
And yet how can I not suffer for the young men and women who have been fed into the horrible grinding machines of powers, who have died in war, been maimed, had their minds destroyed?
They are human beings. I think of what they could accomplish were it not for these terrible wars.
How do we defend ourselves? Are guns and bombs the only way to defend ourselves? I’m not naive, I know there are people in this world who would, by force of arms, try to destroy us as they have destroyed others. There is real violence and evil doing in this world aside from the crooks who have taken over the halls of power in America.
How do we protect ourselves? Is there perhaps a different way, one that doesn’t entail taking a young human being, in the prime of his or her life, and ordering them to destroy? Is this really the epitome of serving one’s country? I think sometimes, in the face of our own compassion for those who go into the military and get harmed, for the sake of their families, we look away from the hard question of whether this is the highest calling a citizen can answer.
If we really do value our soldiers, then we need to find ways to solve problems without going to war, we need to find ways to stop threats to our safety without going to war. If we owe those who have fallen in war anything, I think it is that.