Monday, May 26, 2008

In Memoriam

Today is Memorial Day in the United States, the day on which we are asked to remember all those who have made the ultimate sacrifice to defend our country. For more than five years now, young men and women have been asked to travel to Iraq and Afghanistan to fight an enemy we don’t understand for reasons that are unclear. The result is more than 4,000 dead service members, plus how many more whose lives have been shattered physically, emotionally, mentally, or all of the above. If we want to remember, we need to see more pictures like the one above, which shows just a small fraction of the fatalities over the last half decade. Unfortunately, the Bush administration feels it’s necessary to hide such images. They want us to remember a glorified version of warfare, not the reality beneath the flag and within the casket.

When I set up this month’s poll, I opened myself up to praise as well as criticism, especially by putting my political opinions as a choice for “least liked.” Some of you have chosen that option. Fair enough. It’s a democracy; thus, everyone’s entitled to a hearing of their view. Duly noted. However, I won’t stop voicing my opinion, which I believe to be the prevalent view in our country today. “Support the Troops: End the War!” lawn signs have been proliferating in my slice of the suburbs for months now, growing exponentially as if the wind blew seeds across the lawns overnight and new signs grew from the soil. While you’re taking in all the visuals of this very, very visual day—parades with marching bands, flags of all sizes waving in hands of all ages, speeches from banner-draped podiums, fireworks illuminating the night sky—remember the visual above, because without that picture none of the others would be possible.

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