I can’t wave the American flag, sing the American anthem, or wear red-white-blue paraphernalia this Memorial Day holiday.
It’s not that I don’t want to. Everyone wants to feel proud, and to cheer their “side.”
Despite the official line about this holiday being about honoring the veterans, especially those who have made the ultimate sacrifice, all the evidence proves that we (the collective “we”) don’t give a damn about our veterans or their families.
If we did, we wouldn’t send our young men and women off to fight wars based on lies. Actually, we wouldn’t send them off to fight any wars except as a last resort. Instead, the USA fights wars of convenience and opportunity, because we (the collective “we” again) suck at diplomacy, especially in the Middle East. Our warriors and future veterans are used as pawns on a global chessboard with the MIC (military industrial complex) and fossil fuel special interests making all the moves.
Many of our warriors are sent on multiple tours of active duty, year after year after year, returning home with severe PTSD, while we scratch our heads wondering why gun violence is on the rise on our city streets.
If we gave a damn about our veterans, we would prioritize their health care needs and make sure they’re not waiting months (in some cases years) to see a doctor, instead of scratching our heads and wondering why suicide rates among veterans is rising.
If we truly honored their service and sacrifice, there wouldn’t be a single homeless or unemployed veteran on our streets. The facts tell a different story.
There’s a disturbing disconnect in what Americans say and what Americans do. I won’t be part of this hypocrisy.
If you feel compelled or moved to celebrate Memorial Day, send a monetary donation to Veterans for Peace.
Stop your car when you see the next homeless person on the street (there’s a very good chance he or she is a veteran) and offer to buy him/her a meal. Sit, eat with them, and listen to their story about their service.
Write your member of Congress and tell him or her what you really think about 1/2 trillion dollars directed towards defense.
The US Congress overwhelmingly passed, and President Obama signed, the $1.15 trillion omnibus spending measure that contained $572.7 billion for defense in a succession of votes in the House and Senate on Friday. (Dec. 18, 2015)
Vote for Bernie Sanders. “Bernie Sanders’ surge is partly fueled by Veterans” – Boston Globe June 28, 2015).