Monday, May 29, 2006

Memorial Day - Some Thoughts

Today - Memorial Day in the US - I am sad at the loss of life that soldiers and civilians face and have faced as a result of wars both involving the USA and ones that haven't involved us. Whether one loses a child, brother, sister, father, mother or friend - in this country or any other country it is an equal tragedy.

I am sad that the people of the United States continue to support the policies of our leaders in needlessly causing the deaths of millions of people worldwide. Yes, there are plenty of people that are angry at our country. Some of them will kill - whether in Iraq, the West Bank and Gaza, or in the USA.

So rarely do we as a people look deeply at why others hate us and in some cases want to kill us. It seems clearest when we have scandals of the murders of innocent people - such as apparently happened in Iraq - when US Marines killed 20 or perhaps many more civilians in retaliation for some incident that may have killed some US soldiers.

It is equally sad to see how we "invade" the lands of others exporting: tobacco, toxic waste, rampant consumerism, "Christianity" as well as arms, helping destroy many countries, while trying to take their wealth from them.

Do we ever ask "The People" rather than finding leaders we can bribe in many ways?
Do we ever consider that we're not magically "better" than other people?
Do we ever listen to others and really hear what they want and don't want?
Do we ever consider that our history is filled with despicable actions and that we continue that path in so many ways today?

I hope - without a lot of faith - that we will - as a people find new ways to live so that Memorial Days of the future don't need to be such sad days for so many people.

We can use our religions, our spirits, our good will - our love - much more than we already do in caring for our families, friends and country. We can find new ways! We, as a people and as individuals, do many incredible, wonderful things already in our lives.

We can change our local communities and our country so that we nurture and support others around us in the USA as well as throughout the world!

Memorial Day could become a day when we remember those we have lost not from wars, but from living good, healthy affirming lives. We should not forget those before us. We should, however, learn from others and find better ways.



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