For too many people Memorial Day is just another Fed-inspired three day weekend, bereft of meaning apart from the chance to collect a day’s pay for doing nothing but watching a war movie or some game on TV. The Establishment sees it as just another tool in its bag of self aggrandizing tricks, further cementing the State worship that it inculcates in its charges from their earliest years, emphasizing and entrenching its role as an object of jingoistic tribalism for people to abase themselves before…hence the stress on war movies and team sports.
Originally known as Decoration Day, it was begun in 1868 as a remembrance for Confederate and Union soldiers killed during the Civil War but soon morphed into a general day of remembering those who lost their lives while serving in any of the armed forces of the United States.
For myself, I choose to celebrate the spirit of those people too, while keeping in mind that far too many of them were well meaning individuals whose selfless commitment to protect and defend America was cynically used by those in power to further their own ends, consolidate that power and sacrifice however many lives were required to accomplish this.
I suggest focusing upon three things especially today to get a better appreciation of what Memorial Day’s significance was, is, and appears to be going:
First, even if you’ve read it before, read The War Prayer, written by Mark Twain in 1904 and one of the best antidotes I’ve seen for the unthinking war propaganda that’s drummed into the heads of most Americans by those with an incentive to promote the slaughter and carnage of war. Twain’s tone, while somewhat bitter and cynical, is appropriate for the subject, as seen in this excerpt:
“O Lord our Father, our young patriots, idols of our hearts, go forth to battle — be Thou near them! With them — in spirit — we also go forth from the sweet peace of our beloved firesides to smite the foe. O Lord our God, help us to tear their soldiers to bloody shreds with our shells; help us to cover their smiling fields with the pale forms of their patriot dead; help us to drown the thunder of the guns with the shrieks of their wounded, writhing in pain; help us to lay waste their humble homes with a hurricane of fire; help us to wring the hearts of their unoffending widows with unavailing grief; help us to turn them out roofless with little children to wander unfriended the wastes of their desolated land in rags and hunger and thirst, sports of the sun flames of summer and the icy winds of winter, broken in spirit, worn with travail, imploring Thee for the refuge of the grave and denied it — for our sakes who adore Thee, Lord, blast their hopes, blight their lives, protract their bitter pilgrimage, make heavy their steps, water their way with their tears, stain the white snow with the blood of their wounded feet! We ask it, in the spirit of love, of Him Who is the Source of Love, and Who is the ever-faithful refuge and friend of all that are sore beset and seek His aid with humble and contrite hearts. Amen.”
Next, I recommend the short book, originally distributed as a pamphlet, War Is A Racket, by Marine Corps Major General Smedley Butler in 1935. This man speaks with authority as one who spent his professional life in the service of the military, and was actually present as a participant in the many conflicts that twice earned him the Congressional Medal of Honor among many honors and awards bestowed by the U.S. government, and was at the time the most highly decorated Marine in U.S. history. Though nearly 80 years have passed, Butler’s assessment of the true motivations for the promotion of war is as accurate today as it was when he wrote those words.
Last, I strongly suggest you listen to the Combat Veterans for Ron Paul’s special Memorial Day podcast of their Language of Liberty show at 3PM Central time today. I’ve been privileged to know Adam House, Nick Allison, and others in or associated with this group, and can honestly say I have yet to meet a more sincere and consistent bunch of people in their dedication to freedom and the recovery of our liberties. Time and again they have demonstrated their unimpeachable integrity, and I treasure their friendship. I look forward to the honor of working with them in the future to better communicate the real views of American service members to the public, the better tocounter the scripted and wholly cynical war propaganda of the mainstream media, entirely disingenuous in their motives. Happily, like the dinosaurs they are, they’re fast becoming irrelevant as they sink into the tar pits of history, but can still do some damage in their flailing and bellowing on their way. Trust me, you’re a lot better served turning to the guys and gals with the real facts…the CVRP.
A happier and more meaningful Memorial Day to you…in Liberty.