This is Memorial Day, 2007, the last day of a three-day weekend that America sets aside every year to honor its war dead and its war veterans.
We here in America carry this out with speeches and ceremonies and the playing of Taps at our cemeteries. We hold festive entertainments with patriotic music and songs.
This general celebration, which includes a lot of flag waving and displays of Old Glory in front of our homes and along our streets, is the centerpiece and purpose of this three-day weekend.
Beyond that it’s all about fun gatherings of families and friends, eating and drinking and being merry, watching sporting events, traveling or just hanging loose and enjoying the freedom of a holiday.
As a combat veteran of the Vietnam War and as a person who hates needless war, warmongering and phony displays of patriotism, I despise Memorial Day because America does not truly honor her war dead, but dishonors them.
The only way to truly honor our war dead and those that have fought in our wars would be to tell the truth about why they died and why they fought and why there must come a day – in honor of them – when we must put a stop to needless war and the killing and maiming, the ruining of lives and the heartbreak and suffering that comes from it.
The last time an American soldier died or fought for our freedom was World War II. That is the plain fact and the plain truth. To say that any soldier since World War II fought or gave up his life in order that we might enjoy our freedom is a horrible mistake in reasoning.
It is a horrible mistake because it is not just a mistake but a mistake that perpetuates and promotes our insatiable appetite for needless war and needless death and suffering under the guise that it was all for the cause of freedom.
No, it wasn’t. Every soldier that has died or fought under the American flag since World War II has done it because of the immoral and wrong-headed policies of our presidents and government leaders, backed by the ignorant and phony patriotism of the masses…those same masses that still believe even to this day that each one of our war dead gave up their lives for our freedom.
No, they didn’t. They gave up their lives because they were soldiers doing their duty. Soldiers don’t give up their lives or fight for our freedom. They give up their lives because of their duty as soldiers to follow orders…orders that come down from the commander-in-chief and government leaders, backed by the ignorant and phony patriotic masses, and which don’t have a thing in the world to do with freedom.
It is understandable why the people believe that our war dead died for our freedom. They want to believe it. They want to believe that our soldiers didn’t die in vain but for the great and noble cause of freedom. They need to believe it because it would be too shocking and hateful to their senses to consider the possibility that they all fought and died for nothing.
One can only imagine how much harder it would be for the masses to believe that they themselves must share a part of the blame for our soldiers dying for nothing.
And yet, that is the fact and the plain truth. We dishonor our war dead and call for more of the same every Memorial Day when we sing praises to the lie while the truth lies moldering in the graves of our national cemeteries marked by the many lines of flag fluttering headstones that hear nothing, not even the sound of Taps.
It would do true honor to our war dead if we marked these Memorial Day celebrations with truthful observations and vows that we will go forth and put a stop to these needless deaths caused by these needless wars and that we will now take up the fight for peace and try to make it up to them as much as we can.
Right now, this Memorial Day, 2007, while we are engaged in an illegal and unjust war of our own making in Iraq under the same old guise of freedom that we’ve been using to make war for more than a half-century, would be a good day to stand up for our war dead who cannot stand up for themselves and say to the president, the government leaders and the mindless masses –we, here and now, declare war on needless war from this time forward.
Never again will we stand idly by while our young are sent off to kill and die for nothing more than for the lying vanity, misguided policies and phony patriotism of our presidents and government leaders backed by the ignorant, rolling thunder of our flag waving masses.
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I was very disappointed to see, at your site, Mr. Crowe's Opinion. I believe that Mr. Crowe is misguided and self-serving. Mr. Crowe seems to wish us to believe that he has special powers to read the minds and souls of "government leaders and mindless masses."
I once heard said in a movie, "just because a mouse is in a cookie jar doesn't make him a cookie." Mr. Crowe may have been in uniform, but he seems to have lost, or he never understood, why American citizens serve in uniform.
Mr. Crowe says, "Soldiers don't give up their lives or fight for our
freedom" but only "to follow orders." Mr. Crowe may have served once in uniform, but that service seems to have filled him with non-sense and selfish pride.
This is a great nation and most Americans believe this in their hearts.
America's creed is "a nation of the people for the people and by the people."
The "Declaration of Independence" documents the feelings of our founding fathers. "We" the people of this nation share the sentiment that a Creator watches over us and wants us to pursue our happiness. We seek as stated, "to create a more perfect Union and to establish justice." Mr. Crowe's first words before putting on a uniform was to pledge loyalty to the Constitution.
He needs to remind himself of his military service oath in the defense of America.
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Apparently, you are not a student of world news and history. Or your
news sources (source?) are very narrow and slanted.
What is wrong with the American people getting what they voted for in the last election?
Bush and his liars are ignoring the Constitution in one instance, by
waging an illegal war against a nation that did not attack us. Sure,
Saddam was a murderous pig, but he is far from alone with that
achievement. Any search of the Internet of terrorist sources, will
bring back several nations but not Iraq.
The Constitution laid out that our Federal Government will have three
branches of equal power. King Bush has been allowed to think and
practice that he is the ONLY word and will do whatever he wants.
History has shown several times that people on the sand, have a very
deep belief that American military has no business on their sand, no
matter what the reason. Every time we have left their sand, the violence against us greatly lessened or stopped, and they did not follow us home. Seems that the U.S. would make a much better target for terrorists when our military is elsewhere. Just like the Indians would attack the fort when the calvary was out elsewhere.
Before we went to Iraq, there were no terrorists there. Terrorists
around the world have found it is a great place to kill Americans who
are easy targets partly because of their marginal protection, numbers,
A Rand study before we went to Iraq told Bush he should go in there with at least 450,000 troops. That's the number we took to Kuwait. The extremely twisted Rumsfeld convinced Bush to only send about 140,000 troops with the thinking that our technology would make up for the difference. But Rumsfeld didn't use the best technology available. If you watch Discovery channel or Science channel, you will see all kinds of things that our troops in Iraq could use to better protect themselves.
Our government and military has not fixed the border problem around
Iraq, so we are fighting an unlimited supply of soldiers and terrorists
bussed in from neighboring countries.
The war against terror is a crock since terrorists birth rate is much
faster than we could ever kill them. Especially if they are being
brought in from other countries. Someone said that was the same problem in Korea when the Chinese were being brought in help fight us there.
I thought it was really hilarious recently in the news that Bush wants
to send a bunch of our border patrol agents from our Mexican border to train American troops in Iraq how to control the borders there. More evidence that Bush doesn't give a hoot how many illegals we get from across our Mexican border.
We are told that Iraqis are being trained to protect their country. We
are told they have worked on that for 4 years. And we still have no
timetable showing when that will be achieved or an explanation for why not. In fact as our troops are dying in Iraq, the Iraqi Congress wants to take off for a two month recess. Sounds real similar to South Vietnam in 1975 when it fell. In 1969-1971, I found the South Vietnamese troops to be shiftless cowards. That was an understanding among our troops who worked closely with them. The very second that we pulled out of Saigon, the North Vietnamese took over.
The first time I was in Vietnam, a bunch of us were pulled out as part
of a program called Vietnamization. That was in early 1970. I was brought back in early 1971 as part of an effort to over man the war to make it end sooner. The U.S. didn't really pull out of Vietnam until 1975, four years later. When we were in Vietnam, we lost an average of 22 U.S. soldiers a day. Iraq isn't quite up to that yet, but it can if we allow King Bush to continue to call all of the shots.
The 9/11 attackers were from Saudi Arabia. Why are we not killing Saudis?
Michael, read the news from several sources. From what you have said and apparently believe, the news will shock you. Learn history, or you are doomed to repeat it.
If you are an American patriot, read State Of Denial by Bob Woodward. That book is in direct alignment with what has happened in regards to our leaders, our military and Iraq.
A fun fact is that Bob Woodward's honesty is impeccable. I heard he is not allowed in the White House anymore.
Redondo Beach, Ca.
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Memorial Day is one of three days during the year that the nation pauses and remembers the service and sacrifice or those in uniform. Yet, Mr. Crowe takes this day, wraps himself in his "I'm a Veteran" cloak, and uses it to dishonor himself and his service by spewing his anti-war, anti-government beliefs.
First, he states, "I despise Memorial Day because America does not truly honor her war dead, but dishonors them." How so, Mr. Crowe? By America pausing for a brief moment, putting politics and beliefs aside, and thanking those that willingly sacrifice everything, even their lives, doing something they believe in? Where's the dishonor in that?
Second, he states, "The only way to truly honor our war dead and those that have fought in our wars would be to tell the truth about why they died and why they fought and why there must come a day – in honor of them – when we must put a stop to needless war and the killing and maiming, the ruining of lives and the heartbreak and suffering that comes from it." Isn't that partly what this day (and Veterans Day and Armed Forces Day) is about? To remember those that served, why they sacrificed, and pray for an end to this and all wars?
Third, he insults all those that honor our service, calling their pausing to thank us, "the ignorant and phony patriotism of the masses," and stating, "One can only imagine how much harder it would be for the masses to believe that they themselves must share a part of the blame for our soldiers dying for nothing." So, how is the public's desire to thank us for what we do ignorant and phony patriotism? Because they want to shake our hands? Thank us for doing something that couldn't do, were afraid to do, or didn't have the chance to do? How is that ignorant or phony? And, how do they share any blame for any service members death or injury? We knew what we were getting into when we signed the contract. We knew it could mean we die. They didn't make us sign it.
Also, he claims service members are dying for nothing. Does a police officer who's killed trying to stop an armed criminal die for nothing? Does a fireman who's killed after charging into a burning house to save a trapped child die for nothing? No, they don't. They die doing their job, fulfilling their duty, carrying out the oath they swore to uphold. Just like we in the military do. They know their job is dangerous, just like we do. They know they could die, just like we do. But, they do it anyway, just like we do.
Fourth, he states, "They gave up their lives because they were soldiers doing their duty. Soldiers don’t give up their lives or fight for our freedom. They give up their lives because of their duty as soldiers to follow orders…orders that come down from the commander-in-chief and government leaders..." He's right about that. We give up our lives because we are Soldiers (and Marines, sailors, airmen, and coast guardsmen) doing our duty. We swore the same oath he did, agreed to follow the same laws he did, and know that we could die, just like he knew. We swore to protect and defend the Constitution, and to obey the orders of the President of the United States and the officers appointed over us. Just like he did. And, we know that could mean we die, just like he knew when he served.
Memorial Day, Armed Forces Day and Veterans Day, lets Americans thank those citizens that made the toughest decision of their lives, voluntarily gave up some of their freedom to serve their country, and took the chance to make a small and unique contribution, through their service, to their communities and the nation. That Mr. Crowe, a veteran, took advantage of this day to promote his own personal beliefs against his own service, those that honor his service, and those that served before, during and after him only dishonors Mr. Crowe and those like him.
John T. Love II
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America does not dishonor its war dead. Naman Crowe does and he should feel deeply ashamed.
“Phony patriotism”? The pride I feel for my 25+ years’ of service, the love I feel for my comrades in arms and for my country is certainly not phony. The men who fought for my country in Korea did not do so needlessly. They stood in the breach and held back the expansion of communism. Generations of South Koreans have lived in freedom and prosperity while their northern neighbors suffered. All of western Europe enjoyed freedom for over 50 years thanks to American fighting men and women. The greatly feared Soviet Union is no more and those that languished under that rule are now voting, worshiping, and living in freedom. The men and women who fought and died in Vietnam did so to prevent the expansion of Communism.
That their noble efforts were thwarted by cowards and socialists back home does not detract from their honor. When Iraq invaded Kuwait without provocation or justification, their Moslem neighbors sat in silence. My president organized a coalition and my generals led it. We whipped the Iraqi military machine and gave the Kuwaitis back their country. Iraqis and Afghanis now know what a voting booth looks like. For the past 12 years or so, our military has been deployed in more places around the globe than ever before.
In the past four years, our military has been engaged in two major conflicts simultaneously. We suffered major natural disasters and deployed large groups of troops to restore order and relieve suffering. People were starving in Africa and we sent troops there to feed them. All this has been done without a draft and without requiring serious sacrifice on the part of American civilians. Our economy remains strong. Despite the constant threat of terrorism, we still have the World Series, the Superbowl, and we still like to see the ball drop on New Years’ in Times Square.
You bet I’m proud. I drive around Chattanooga and see all the flags displayed throughout the year. What an honor and privilege it is to put on a uniform and defend such people.
On Memorial Day, we take off from work and enjoy ourselves and our families in any way we see fit. Every one of our fallen gave their lives so we could enjoy ours’ in freedom, safety, and prosperity. They can’t go to the park and push their kids on the swings. They can’t go shopping with their wives. They can’t watch a ball game or drink a beer. Whatever you like to do on Memorial Day, just do it a little more and remember those that can’t.