Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial Day

I won't talk about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan because my own feelings are long, complicated and too depressing to wade through right now. I will, however, put up this link to CNN about the Americans killed since the Long War began over five years ago. My father always was annoyed that Memorial Day became a sort of general military celebration instead of what it should be - a day to commemorate and pay homage to the thousands of men (and women) who've had their lives cut short while serving in uniform.

Iraq War Dead
Afghanistan War Dead

Whatever your feelings about the war, these Americans served where few of us have the courage or inclination to do so and they generally do so with at least a fair degree of honor (Abu Ghraib as the big exception and that's got a lot to do with the bosses) and without the frothing at the mouth craziness too often expressed in the news or movies.

So take a few minutes and remember these dead men and women and think about their families and the gap they'll never fill. This war isn't working out the way it was planned or presented to the public, but those things aside for the moment, it reminds us that their are hundreds of thousands of Americans willing to submit to the discipline of the armed forces and then risk their lives in order to do the really dirty work we need done.

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