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Celebrating Memorial Day

[ 13 ] May 31, 2010 |

What Rob said below..

I love this song not only because it reminds me of family, friends, and all my fellow citizens serving abroad, but also because the lyrics glorify not warrioring itself but rather the best of the just warrior tradition. Here’s my favorite line:

If you’re reading this
Half way around the world
I won’t be there
To see the birth of our little girl
I hope she looks like you
I hope she fights like me
Stand up for the innocent and weak

McGraw is subtly reminding us that we honor our troops – men and women – not simply because their service protects us, but also because, when they serve justly, it means they are protecting the innocent and the vulnerable in other lands too, even when that puts them at risk.

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Comments (13)

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  1. elbrucce says:

    War is a failure. A failure of diplomacy, or policy, of democracy, of imagination. War is fought for power, religion, language, resources. War is not fought for “liberation.” “Just warrior” is a conceit used by rich guys to convince poor guys to stick their dicks in a meat grinder.

    We should take care of the conned when they come home broken from the horrors of war. But it really is time to stop glorifying and memorializing war.

  2. gmack says:

    Andy Rooney (of all people) had something useful to say on this matter a couple of years ago. You can see his whole comment here:

    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2005/05/26/60minutes/rooney/main697964.shtml

    The key quote:

    Remembering doesn’t do the remembered any good, of course. It’s for ourselves, the living. I wish we could dedicate Memorial Day, not to the memory of those who have died at war, but to the idea of saving the lives of the young people who are going to die in the future if we don’t find some new way – some new religion maybe – that takes war out of our lives.

    That would be a Memorial Day worth celebrating.

  3. JJ says:

    Of all the blogs I didn’t expect to see this one glorifying American war fighters. Not that some don’t deserve it, but being a soldier by itself doesn’t earn you that title. What the hell is a just warrior anyway? Let’s see,they killed roughly 1400 of us on 9/11, so we have now engaged in wars that have killed 100,000+ of them. Just warrior.

  4. JJ says:

    Sorry, we lost roughly 2819 on 9/11. Point stands.

    http://nymag.com/news/articles/wtc/1year/numbers.htm

  5. strategichamlet says:

    To all the soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines who volunteer to protect us, my thoughts are with you. Thanks for everything you risk and do for us. Come home safe!

    I’ve never understood comments like those above. That our chosen civilian leadership has often saddled our armed forces with misguided and counterproductive missions that they nonetheless endeavor to accomplish speaks all the more to their bravery and professionalism.

    • DocAmazing says:

      One can be brave and professional and still commit atrocities. One can be brave and professional and still obey immoral and illegal orders.

      I’ll see you at the VA, helping to care for those coming home other than “safe”.

      • strategichamlet says:

        I would say not committing atrocities is an important part of the professionalism I spoke of. And frankly, I have a far larger problem with those who give immoral or illegal orders than with those who follow them.

    • JJ says:

      Not all the soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines volunteered to “protect us.”

  6. DocAmazing says:

    Have we been involved in any military conflict in the past half-century that didn’t disproportionately target “the innocent and weak”?

  7. elbrucce says:

    To speak of the bravery and professionalism of the troops without also speaking of the illegal and immoral orders they are given, and of the obscene profits accruing to Halliburton, GE, Carlyle Group, Exxon and the rest of the those who drive policy that sends innocents to kill innocents is to continue to lie to those troops and to encourage the next generation of cannon fodder.

    • strategichamlet says:

      Maybe on the other 364 days a year I’ll make sure to mention Halliburton, GE, the Carlyle Group (had to look that one up), Exxon, etc., but today I thought I’d focus on the present (and the past) and thank those who put their life on the line to protect us. I really don’t see what anything I said has to do with Exxon, illegal orders, or the rest. How am I lying to anyone? What is wrong with you people?

      • DocAmazing says:

        What is wrong with us? We object to the commission of atrocities, the targeting of civilians, regardless of who is giving the orders. The Nuremburg Defense didn’t hold water in 1945 and it doesn’t hold water now.

        It’s a damn shame that honorable people get dragged into the evil that our government does, due to misplaced patriotism or a lack of employment alternatives. Their service is praiseworthy, but there is no excuse for participating in atrocities or war crimes.

        That’s what’s wrong with us.

  8. dave says:

    Sherman, who knew:

    I confess, without shame, that I am sick and tired of fighting — its glory is all moonshine; even success the most brilliant is over dead and mangled bodies, with the anguish and lamentations of distant families, appealing to me for sons, husbands, and fathers … it is only those who have never heard a shot, never heard the shriek and groans of the wounded and lacerated … that cry aloud for more blood, more vengeance, more desolation.

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