“The scene is burned into my mind to this very day. At the foot of the casket of my twenty-year-old cousin, an only child, killed in Vietnam just weeks before his military discharge, my gentle uncle recited again and again for all to hear his one consolation: his good boy, he said, “had at least died a hero.” I thought of the burning villages and displaced children and raped girls and defenseless dead farmers left behind in other graves in another place that day and, with nothing heroic in sight, went silent and looked away. I knew that young soldiers were victims too. “
So writes Joan Chittister reflecting on Memorial Day in the USA
The prophetic nun might have served as a coubnterfoil to the treacle emanating fom Washington on Memorial Day “celebrations” yesterday in Washington. Broadcast live on PBS, it showed that the USA has apparently learned little from its latest adventures in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Staged outside the Lincoln Memorial on a beautiful night, its centerepiece was a pathetic story of two heroic women who were attending to their son/brother’s awful plight. Basically in a vegetative state with part of his head missing, he became the symbol of the US “victims of war.”
Three years of horrendous surgeries, constant heroic attention from his family (No father in sight), there was no sense of why this 21 year old signed up as a volunteer for such an immoral war. The millions of victims of US arrogance were never mentioned. Gone missing from this drama were the million dead Iraqis and the 2 milion refugees, the hundreds of dead civilians in Afghanistan. Over all it is estimated that 251 times as many people have been killed in Afghanistan and Iraq than those who perished in the attacks of September 11, 2001.
The topper was this poor kid’s family was living pay check to paycheck— “just another poor boy in a rich man’s war” as Steve Earle sings while war shirkers like Five Deferrals Dick Cheney and Rush Limbaugh were cheering on this evil debacle.
It was time to turn the channel when Colin Powell, a man who was involved in the My Lai coverup and who lied for the Bush admin in Iraq actually quoted from Isaiah and Jesus!
Also no sign of the “actors of conscience” like Martin Sheen, John Cusack, Mike Moore,Tim Robbins and Susan Sarandon who were never afraid to challenge the Bush admin’s lies over this war. Instead we get Tom Cruise, Katie Holmes and Gary Sinise.
And that ‘s why they call it the United States of AMNESIA.