Don’t romanticize war. Look war in the face: the shattered lives and broken bodies, the burned houses and stolen property.
The horror of war falls disproportionally on the poor who fight to protect the assets and line the pockets of those who would deny basic civil rights to the “other” — blacks, women, Hispanic, muslim, gay, Jew, Asian, and Native — even as the rich, landed, and privileged buy their way out of service, off the front line, and into Ivy League schools.
Memorial Day is a fantasy; a gloss of flags and bunting, mowed lawns and backyard cookouts. It’s a fanfare for the next war; a glorification and a manipulation to obscure the truth. No one was freed, and every dollar plowed into weapons was stolen from public school budgets, housing, road repair, and health care.
War is a crime. Those who steal property and kill those they do not know, in a country they cannot find on a map, for a cause they cannot articulate, based on a history they do not know, are not engaged in a noble cause, but a crime.
You want to fight for freedom? Great. Act local. Drive people to the polls. Stand up for the rights of women, trans people, religious minorities, and the disabled. Help the poor and homeless, the foster kids and single moms. Pick up trash and demand police accountability. Stand up to the bullies, racists, Proud Boys, Nazis, and fascists in your neighborhood, on social media, on TV, and in your state legislature.
Do that, and nothing good is destroyed, while lives are saved and never lost.