Memorial Day is the official start of summer. Typically there’s a family and friends get-together, a barbecue, a game on the TV, and adult beverages. We have this freedom to celebrate this way because of the sacrifice of soldiers to the vision that is America.
And so we do honor the fallen with our gratefulness Our memorial is our memories.
This isn’t to scold us for not doing more, although, yes, it would be great if we honored the living veterans with decent health care, housing, educational opportunities, and even employment. Decent men and women gave up their freedom and risked their lives to serve our country. It’s up to us to honor that by fulfilling our promise.
But that’s an argument for another day.
I would think, however, that in honoring our fallen soldiers we would step back and think why we have so many.
And before we salute the flag and sing patriotic songs, we would think about the men and women in power who risk soldiers’ lives, who benefit from the political support of a war (“Come together, loyal Americans!”), and even those who use soldiers’ deaths to demonize others.
As the image says, “Honor their deaths by questioning those who would want more of them.”