The best way to honor sacrifice is to seek an end to war and militarism
Thanks for including that clip, Bill. I well remember when it first appeared. Rooney was spot on there, as he was in so many things. Too bad no one else took up his mantle of telling it like it is.
One of his best "Few Minutes With...!"
Don't watch 60 minuta any more but celebrating a peaceful resolution approach over USA, war mongering, forever wars is what will Americans should be protesting on the streets over. Let's keep out young folk here and not there. Cl9se our 800 foreigh bases. Send the war hawk politicians and their echo chamber think tanks in their stead. Nor our children.
Thanks for sharing the video.
Thank you for this. I struggled a lot to think of something wise yet short to say about this weekend, without taking away the memories of those who died in wars we did not have to be in. Your worded it perfectly.
I can't recall if I ever saw this one of Andy Rooney's usually excellent commentaries; but either way I appreciate seeing it now.
Obviously, not enough viewers the first time took it to heart when broadcast... and I'm afraid things wouldn't be much different now. Perhaps, given the overwhelming propaganda to which they're now exposed, they might even complain to the network about it.
Thanks much for taking the time to pen this and include the link to Andy's commentary. He is still appreciated.
Well said, Bill and Andy.
Memorial Day remembers America’s War Dead.
Unless and Until we remember that there are other War Dead
(both military and, increasingly, civilian and non-combatant)
besides just American, there will be more, new American War Dead
to be remembered with every new Memorial Day.
And more, new non-American War Dead to be forgotten.
Heh. Depending on which bar in what city ~ and particularly, When in the course of American military history ~ You made that suggestion, Dennis, You very probably would have been physically assaulted in any number of them.
But personally, i think that is a Great idea,
And while we're at it, let's also remember all the non-soldiers ~ the civilians and the non-combatants ~ we killed, maimed, orphaned, widowed or widowered, and rendered homeless, hopeless, and helpless along with all those "enemy" soldiers.
The most accurate and thus best two-word description of America in 2023 and for quite some time now: "fascist corporatocracy." ... :
My Memorial Day 2023 Message was presented in a eulogy that i gave at a military funeral in Van Nuys, California on January 3, 1970 for a young helicopter pilot named Larry killed in Vietnam. i was a door gunner who’d flown with Larry down in the Mekong Delta in 1967-68; we’d survived Tet together, and much, much more. Too much more… :
It is difficult, my friends. Very difficult.
I know none of you, yet I call you my friends. Thank you for being here, for sharing this, for enabling me to bear it.
After two years of this War, I have finally lost someone I love. Buddies? There’s been plenty. Never, until now, someone I love.
It is said that tragedy is the fire that tempers the soul. I can only hope that my soul, and my heart, and my mind, and my life is tempered and forged from this nightmare into a design of dedication NOT to the forces and elements that killed him: rage, hate, lust for violent revenge, a mindless, headlong flight into, through, and finally submerged by insanity.
Not to that, but to the ideals and principles that should have been the forces and elements at work that could have kept him, you, me, us all nowhere near Vietnam, or Biafra, or Suez, or Korea, or Normandy, or Pearl Harbor and Hiroshima, and on and on back thru the ages and the battlefields, back to the beginnings of time, the beginnings of man, the beginnings of War.
The ideals, principles, forces, and elements of understanding, concern, love, peace, and the knowledge of our status as but “the family of Man, fellow-passengers on the Spaceship Earth…. .”
And how meaningless, empty, and vapid these words sound and are tonite. But, a man’s words are really nothing more than indicators, the elements of the metaphor that his living is, as it seeks to explain to him, and to us, his life.
Perhaps these moments of futility, emptiness, and tragedy are the price we must pay for having had the privilege of his company, the strength of his presence, the happiness of his warmth and joy, the security of his being.
We have all lost something. A friend, a husband, a son. But there is a greater loser, a more tragic victim from all this than we, his wife, his parents, his family, and his friends. And that victim, my friends, is the world.
It is this world…this world that murdered him, that is the big loser.
The terms I think it might understand are that he is no longer at its disposal; that he is free and no longer subject to the prices that the world and mankind demand from its children as they attempt to struggle as individual human beings, with individual lives and loves, and concerns and cares, and projects and goals and plans, and wins, losses, and rainouts.
The world requires that you be more than a man or a woman ~ which, until death, is impossible.
It requires that citizens of nations become us all. Citizens of nations, and pawns to realities revolving around such grandiose, eloquent, pompous terms, tenets, and ideas as ideology and geopolitics, alliances and balances of power, negotiations, diplomacy, and treaties, and on and on ad nauseam…. the vocabulary of government.
And much more real, final, and meaningless terms as enemy and body-counts, and hot LZ’s and .50-caliber machine gun positions, and frozen rotor blades at 300 feet, and notification of next-of-kin…. the vocabulary of the logical conclusion of the rhetoric of government, the vocabulary of War.
The world required this of him, and he agreed to pay his portion of the price. Tonite, however, the world’s account is overdrawn. Tonite, there is the matter of revenge. No. No, not revenge. Avenge. Avengeance. aVengeance… revenge without Vengeance; revenge without Violence.
But against whom does one direct it? And how?
Is it to be directed against those people and places and principles that killed him? Against other young – and old ~ women and men from other nations who, too, are but paying [and playing] their price and thus part, as their world ~ this world, our world ~ demands? They are but pawns as we. And as long as we pawns keep fighting ~ and paying for ~ all these Wars, there will be War.
What, then of the kings and queens and bishops and rooks and generals and knights and such? They, too, are but pawns. Their bloodshed is not their own; rather, it is of those that they like to call “their Peoples’.” These, too, however, are paying a price: the price of being those most directly associated with the true killers ~ the ideas, and terms, and tenets, and vocabularies. And, having to live with them, by them, and for them, they thus become the emptiness, the insanity, the impotence, the wretchedness that these words are.
No. It is neither the pawns nor the princes ~ the presidents, premiers, and propagandists ~ that are to be sought out and made to give retribution for Larry. It’s not the people who are directly, and thus apparently responsible for his having been there, and thus being no more.
Rather, it is those who are truly, though indirectly responsible. It is those that could have stopped it, could have prevented this specter from becoming the spectacle that it is.
It is, indeed, those who permit the world to make them pawns and slaves, and legions to, of, by, and for these ideas and words. Those who permit themselves to go and become but the bit-players in this passion play, the finale of which is the death of their brothers and their sisters, their sons and daughters, their fathers and their mothers, their selves.
A death as meaningless, as senseless, and as empty as their lives. Lives spent under the tyranny of ideas, killing and thus dying under their effect. Lives lived under the anarchy of this self-imposed despotism, rather than in and through the fulfillment that is to be found in the truth, the beauty, the reality of the mind’s products ~ ideas ~ as they are used instead to eliminate the trials, tragedies, and traumas of man. Rather than, as today, propagating, perpetrating, and perpetuating them.
MAN is the object. MAN and LIFE. All of LIFE. Ideas are but vehicles. The price for avenging Larry shall have been extracted when that simple statement becomes a world-truth.
We live now in the insanity of Man being the vehicle, and terms, tenets, vocabularies, ideologies, and ideas being the object. The object that man has permitted to become, at not only his expense and thus life’s, but at the world’s, as well.
The guilty, my friends, is you and me and him and her and everyone. Each and every one of us all. Including Larry. And we begin, now, to pay the price for this. We have lost someone for whom Man and Life was the object.
Larry, as the rest of us, the young, was at but the beginning of this realization, at the beginning of this work. Because those of us that could have helped, long ago, to prevent what has happened did not, we are now paying the price.
Again: MAN is the object. MAN and LIFE. Ideas are but vehicles. The price for avenging Larry shall have been extracted when that simple statement becomes a world-truth.
The question, again, is “How?”
If, in fact, a man is ready to die when he knows himself completely, I am at last ready.
With this experience, with these words, I have come now to know and to understand the meaninglessness of the meaning I have permitted the world to attach to my, to your, to Larry’s, to everyone’s being.
And knowing this, I swear… No more.
aVengeance will be mine. I pray, my friends, yours as well.
The question, at last, is “How?”
This we will learn. With help….. .
All blame and responsibility for this war is on the U.S. and the far-right Ukrainian nationalists that it fostered, financed and armed. Had Washington truly wanted peace and justice, then the White House would have pushed for a geopolitically neutral Ukraine with a federal system that respects the rights of ethnic minorities.
With Washington’s blessing, Kiev chose war and ethnic cleansing, and so, since 2014 nearly 5.5 million ethnic Russians have fled eastern Ukraine to seek safety in Russia, making the country by far the largest destination for Ukrainian refugees. Many are from the city of Donetsk and surrounding towns and villages.
Moscow had always hoped for a peaceful solution to the Donbass conflict. But the West wanted war, using the Minsk accords to buy time to arm Ukraine and turn it into a highly militarized pitbull. Vladimir Putin’s big mistake was trusting the West and believing a peace deal was possible....................................................
IF YOU WISH SOMEONE A HAPPY MEMORIAL DAY, YOU FAIL TO UNDERSTAND ITS TRUE MEANING
by Camillo Mac Bica / Antiwar.com 052823
Perhaps some may find what I will argue below as disrespectful, especially coming from a veteran who participated and lost comrades in the American War in Vietnam. But it must be said. How Memorial Day is currently observed does not, in my view, fulfill its intended purpose – that is, as a day of remembrance, reflection, and appreciation for the sacrifices of those who fought and died in this nation’s all too numerous wars.
With its focus on picnics, barbecues, and sales at the mall, Memorial Day has become primarily a celebration of the unofficial start of summer and a festival of consumerism and greed. Perhaps most regrettably, it is an expression of faux patriotism that further exploits the sacrifices of the slain and the grief of their family members and friends to encourage militarism and perpetuate a mythology that misrepresents as heroism and nobility the savagery and insanity of war, in many, if not most cases, unnecessary and immoral war. In reality, Memorial Day has significance and meaning primarily for those relatively few who experienced war themselves or suffered the loss of friends and family members.
If you wish someone a happy Memorial Day, you fail to understand its true meaning.
March of Folly
Between the barbecues and trips to the mall, celebrants may allege to express their appreciation and gratitude by attending a “remembrance event” and applauding enthusiastically as a high school band, a local scout troop, and a contingent of aging veterans in ill-fitting military uniforms, march by in a parade of their creation before retreating to their local American Legion Post for an afternoon of drinking and commiserating about their beloved comrades whose suffering and deaths accomplished nothing.
Many march to remember, others to forget.
But for those who truly know war
and suffer its consequences,
no ceremony or parade is necessary
as the memories,
the images of war,
and the faces of our comrades wasted in battle
visit us each night in our dreams.
Nor do ceremonies and parades
help us to put to rest
the turmoil of a life interrupted
and devastated by war,
or to forget the killing and the dying.
Memorial Day ceremonies and parades accomplish nothing,
save to allow those who make war easily
or distance themselves from its insanity and horror
to feign support and appreciation
and to relieve their collective guilt
for immoral war and crimes against humanity.
educate, inform, or lessen the burden of loss.
Rather they celebrate and perpetuate
the myth of honor and glory,
and “The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori.
I shall march no more.
If you thank a veteran for her “service” in war you fail to understand what living with the experience entails.
Continued at https://scheerpost.com/2023/05/29/if-you-wish-someone-a-happy-memorial-day-you-fail-to-understand-its-true-meaning/