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Memorial Day

Memorial Day
Take a moment.

It’s always hard to remember, amid the breathless blatherings from local news reporters about the weather and the state of the beaches on the “unofficial start of Summer” that Memorial Day is basically funereal in nature. As the national memories of wars of mass involvement (WW2, Vietnam) fade, it becomes harder to relate to the tragedy of the professional armed forces who are sent into harms way to execute presidential policies. Without the threat of a draft, wars become something other people do — we may feel empathy for their suffering, but not the visceral sense of personal threat that could pressure policy makers to change their plans. And that, of course, is why we don’t have a draft in the “War on Terror”. But it bears remembering that, to date, 4,589 Americans have been killed in Iraq and Afghanistan and perhaps 30,000 wounded.

Here are a couple of links to worthwhile places you can explore after you get your fill of burgers and the beach:

  • [Carrier] — a great PBS multi-part documentary about the lives of sailors on the USS Nimitz.
  • [The Wounded Warrior Project] — a great service for returning veterans who have been maimed in the current war. Send them a few bucks.

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