Monday, May 27, 2013

And Deja Vu, Too.

This should read somewhat familiar. I offered it last year on Memorial Day. I don't always express myself well but I was pleased with what I wrote last year and how I wrote it. So I hope you don't mind my rewarming it and re-offering it. 

Pardon my cynicism if I point out that a year later we still have the Crown of Creation dying in countries whose names we can't pronounce primarily for corporate need and greed wrapped in the Stars and Stripes, Forever.

Actually that's how long the infamy should last when you send young, talented people who have their whole lives before them into meat grinders with allies of convenience who are the best friends our money can buy and the scum of the earth otherwise.

Here in Norwich, we have a remembrance ceremony in Taftville's Memorial Park at ten that draws a reverential and diverse crowd, sort of mirroring the city people in uniform around the world are defending, and then at noon a parade that will move up our Broadway to Chelsea Parade in the center of the city for speeches and quiet thoughts about those we've lost. 

To those who made today necessary, may you burn in Hell always. For those who made it possible, thank you for your gift. I hope we, the living, lead lives which prove we deserved your sacrifice. 
We are a species who fortunately (for us) have selective memories. We took the commemoration of the birth of a person regarded by many on the planet to be The Savior and Son of God, Christmas, and turned it into a Festival of Conspicuous Consumption, unlike anything ever seen. 

Presidents' Day is a now a great time to buy a car-what'll it take to get put you in this spanking new Terraplane today?-and we've reduced to chocolate and jelly beans the celebration of Easter-just a slight repurposing of its original intent.

I get into trouble, emotional and otherwise, for saying aloud what other people think but are too afraid to admit that they do. I've been told this is why I have no friends but who wants cowards as friends anyway? 

The only place we need cowards is in elected office, especially at the national level and these days, we're spoiled for choice.

Today is a day where you cannot swing a cat (no snotty PETA letters, please; no cats are being harmed in the making of this blog unless you're reading it to them and then it's on you. Why did you think they're clawing the door?) and NOT hit a politician offering pious platitudes on the selfless sacrifice men and women in uniform make every day around the world 'to preserve our way of life.'

Today is Memorial Day, another holiday we've moved to a Monday so we can have a three day weekend with plenty of time for a barbecue, a run to the beach and some laps at the Brickyard. 

If we work it right, we don't ever or even have to think of those with whom we grew up who never got to be old, or about their parents and grandparents, who survived the Depression, battled fascism to its knees in a world wide war and, more recently, together with us marked the start of our Second Decade in the Global War on Terrorism.

Of those I've just listed, the last is the hardest for me to wrap my head around as I don't know what "victory" looks like--the Stars and Stripes waving from a minaret in Medina? Ron Paul elected President of Lebanon (from your lips to God's ear)? 

I honestly don't know when 'we win' and I suspect neither do the fools and ghouls who got us into this and who pop up on patriotic holidays to tell us how we are Waist Deep in Big Muddy and making great time.

Some have suggested the War of Terror's start could be the murder of the Marines in Beirut in 1983-or the killing of US service personnel at Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia. 

We've latched on to the cowardice of the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon because it happened on our soil, but seem to have forgotten how the earth has been hallowed by the blood of anyone in uniform who lost her/his life in our defense anywhere in the world.

War is not an abstract geo-political game played out on a grand stage by dominant personalities-it is very local, extremely personal and heartbreakingly private. Those of our neighbors who choose military service have as many reasons for so doing as there are those who so serve. 

We must never lose sight of all of those whose service makes us who we are and to whom we owe more than we can ever repay. They are a call to arms for each of us to be better than we are for ourselves, our children and our nation.
-bill kenny

No comments: