We should use this Memorial Day to honor those who have served and especially those who have died. Like most in the past 60 years, Memorial Day 2011 will be another holiday filled with well meant patriotic ceremonies, and speeches by politicians and citizens alike; speeches about the sacrifices of American military personnel.
But the knowledge that so many of our military personnel have died unnecessarily should anger the free people in our republic, redoubling their determination to hold public officials accountable. If the sunshine patriots really care about their neighbors in uniform, they will stop putting servicemen and women at risk for frivolous reasons.
Instead of piously circulating patriotic emails to their friends, people should act. They should insist that presidents stop initiating foolish, unnecessary conflicts and that Congresses stop allowing presidents to unilaterally conduct foolish, unnecessary wars.
People should protest against dumb conflicts and vote against politicians willing to risk American lives for frivolous purposes. America’s military cemeteries are filled because of the decisions of political leaders elected by citizens across the nation.
The best way to honor the fallen is to say “never again!” Never again will American lives be wasted in ambitious foreign crusades which leave America less free and secure.
May God bless our servicemen and women — the active and the veterans, the quick and the dead — and may God bless America.
The above thoughts are by Ted Webb, who served our country honorably during both the Cold War and the Vietnam War.