As we Americans once again commemorate our war dead, and pay respect to the families of those who “gave the last full measure of devotion,” I wonder:
Will we ever come to terms with the fact that many of their deaths were preventable?
They not only died for us, they died because of us and our pride, arrogance, and nationalist ego-centrism.
We Americans are sure that we can do anything we set our minds and collective will to do. Why not peace?
Why can’t we learn to treat other people with respect, and so to gain friends instead of making enemies? We are so hell bent in self-righteousness, so mired in fear of others – and so completely confused about who they are – that millions of us want a dictator in our highest office.
Our dead didn’t die so that America would be weak and terrified, but we are. After 9/11 we raised flags and were defiant and strong for a while, until Bush-Cheney told us to be terrorized, and so we were and so we remain.
History will not be kind about the fall of the American Empire. For 15 years we have declined into willful ignorance, the victims of fear and selfishness. Trump is the distillation of that consciousness.
We don’t deserve a new birth of freedom if we deny it to each other.
We don’t deserve safety unless we stand up for the refugees and give them refuge.
We are not worthy to consecrate a moment, let alone a day, in honor of our dead, until we pledge in our hearts and minds that no more shall die in vain.