On this Memorial Day I honor those who died no matter whether I think it was worth it…

I get Memorial Day and Veterans Day mixed up but I know this is Memorial Day, the third and final day of the long Memorial Day weekend when there are parades, and there are ceremonies, often at cemeteries, with men wearing those military-style overseas caps, American Legion and such, and flags flying and so on. In its present form, Memorial Day is to honor all of our war dead (men and women) in all of our wars — and of course it is also a time off for workers and a great sales opportunity for stores, and a recreational opportunity at lakes and camp and picnic grounds and other such places.

There are some who see all the flag flying as so much jingoism. Certainly our penchant for having America first has gotten us into all kinds of troubles overseas through the years. And sometimes it seems one might be forced to ask whether it was worth it. I mean, as an example, why did we have to join the fray in Europe’s war in World War I? We were in no imminent danger. And, as a matter of fact, I have always wondered why Abraham Lincoln was lauded for standing up to the southern rebellion, otherwise known as the American Civil War or the War Between the States (for those in the South). I mean all that death and destruction might have been avoided had he simply let the South go its way — it might have well decided for practical reasons to come back into the fold decades later.

But one can try to rewrite or re-do history in his or her mind and it is useless.

The fact is that on this planet there is a constant struggle among humans for land and resources which are finite and throughout our history it has led to war. And some are called to fight them and some go on their own accord and some do not. Often those who do not are the ones who order those who do to go in the first place. And the non-fighters are often the biggest fans of the fight.

But regardless of the politics of it all, I join in honoring all those who gave the ultimate sacrifice, no matter whether I think in hindsight that it was all worth it.Image

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