Archives for posts with tag: Memorial Day

Today I pause to acknowledge the fallen. I consider the friends and comrades at arms who did not come home. I make a personal accounting of the cost of war. The price of war is high. The sacrificed men and women were precious – how many could have truly changed the world? War doesn’t change improve much of anything, only increases the amount of blood we have spilled for the sake of someone else’s vanity, profiteering, or arrogance. Wrapped in patriotic language, we accept slaughter as necessary – so long as we don’t have to look too long, too closely, to too honestly upon it. We accept the justifications. We accept the fear-mongering rhetoric. We look the other way when death comes for someone else’s daughters and sons.

I came home. Some did not. Over time, a great many did not come home. The numbers are horrifying. Add in the innocents – the children, the civilians, the people attempting to flee war, the people attempting to survive, the countrymen upon whom the governments have experimented for further gains in later wars – and the numbers become unfathomable, and impossible to truly grasp. We are killers, and we are fairly indiscriminate about it. So, here on the calendar is this one day. One day to account for our murderous inexcusable rage, our “patriotic” defense of our arbitrary borders, and our willingness to slaughter the daughters and sons of parents we’ve never met, and who have done us no harm – and our future potential. We’ll kill it all, but hey, at least we take a memorial day to observe… what? Our glory? The wastefulness of our violence? The passing of innocence? Probably not. More likely, we’ll take a long weekend to barbecue, and the most notable concern of the day will be the temperature of the grill, and whether the sauce is the same as what our father made, and will it rain?

Please enjoy the feast, and be merry. Sure, why not? Please also take a moment to consider the cost – the price paid in blood, by countless lost moments of a future we’ll never see, counted in bodies. Take a moment to consider who won’t be at the barbecue, this year or ever. You owe that moment to them, today.

Here’s a Memorial Day weekend reminder that now is not the time to be thanking veteran’s for their service. This is an opportunity, for all of us, veteran’s too, to honor the fallen. The brothers and sisters in arms who did not come home. Who gave everything. This is our time to bow our heads and reflect on the horror of war. Just saying. It’s not about the living.

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This matters to me. It probably matters to a lot of veterans. We know the price paid to serve, sure; we also know the price that was not exacted from us. We came home with our lives ahead of us. We may be human wreckage – that’s a thing for some – we may be filled with internal torment you just don’t see – also a thing, some of us struggle with for many years – and for many of us, part of that lasting pain is the loss of so many. We lost people we loved, and served with side-by-side, and we lost esteemed professional colleagues, and we lost legends that had gone before us. We lost role models, and wing men. We lost “that guy”. We lost people we never met, and people we knew very well. We lost leaders, and comrades.

Most of us, most of the time, believed we were fighting for a righteous cause. We’re carefully indoctrinated to think so. Some of us knew better or understood things differently. A small few of us knew a very special painful truth; you don’t understand the price we pay, and you don’t understand how carefully we are remade to serve a purpose. You don’t understand, really, that we always knew some of us would never come home. You don’t understand that we served every day knowing that that someone could be… us. You don’t understand that many of us never quite leave it behind. Because you can’t. It’s not your experience.

Please don’t burden veteran’s with your thanks  today. This is our day to remember. To grieve. To acknowledge that we came home. To regret that others didn’t. This, too, is our day to stare fiercely into the eyes of those in power with a challenge – you show me this was in fact worth the price. Prove it. Prove it or go fuck yourself – and bring our brothers and sisters home. This is our honor, this is our Memorial. I’d frankly very much like to stop adding new bodies to the body count. I say the price for your glory is too high.

I’m taking the weekend off. This is a time to reflect on what matters most, and what is the value of a human life. ❤