Memorial Day – The Worship of War

Memorial Day – The Worship of War

I remember a couple of years ago marching in a Memorial Day parade with my then 7 year old son and his Cub Scout troop. As we passed a group of elderly people sitting along the parade route I heard a women exclaim, “Look at the handsome young boys, someday they will be soldiers.” I was appalled. How could somebody look at these innocent young men and wish that they would grow up to be soldiers. Did this women not know what soldiers do namely kill and die?

I am always disgusted by our modern ritual of Memorial Day. It is supposed to be a day to honor and remember those who have died. It is a time to remember the terrible sacrifice of war and the lives lost, too many in their prime. It is a time to remember the terrible tragedy that is war.

We should remember too all those who are victims of war. The innocents caught in the cross fire. The non-combatants who simply have the misfortune of being at the wrong place at the wrong time. The youth that is wasted, the families that are destroyed, the innocence lost.

Instead what we are given are a bunch of slogans and jingoism. We see the war merchants march with their mechanical instruments of death. We see people wave their flags as if we should die for a piece of cloth. We are expected to accept that these people have died for our freedom when the majority of them fought for nothing more than some special interest groups who paid enough money to enough politicians to get them to sacrifice a bunch of young peoples lives in the name of crony profit.

Please take time this Memorial Day to remember that as USMC Major General Smedley Butler said, “War is a Racket” (and if you have never read his speech on war you can find it here: .War is for the banks and the military industrial complex. It impoverishes the most vulnerable and enriches the already rich. More freedoms are taken and destroyed in the name of war than are secured. Remember that real people died. Real families were destroyed. Real lives were lost.

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