Here’s some assigned reading and viewing this Memorial Day Weekend, starting with a very thoughtful article written by David R. Henderson, a research fellow with the Hoover Institution and an economics professor at the Naval Postgraduate School.
Written immediately following Memorial Day 2008, Professor Henderson addressed the debate over the precise meaning of the day: is it to honor the soldiers who fought and died to preserve our “American freedoms,” or to mourn those who lost their lives in wars and to reflect on how to prevent this from happening in the future?
Henderson makes a compelling and eloquent case for the latter. His conclusion:
Exercise your freedom on future Memorial Days in any way that you wish as long as it’s peaceful. Take a minute or more to mourn the loss of so many U.S. soldiers and foreign soldiers, as well as millions of innocent civilians, who lost their lives because some government, whether the U.S., the USSR, the Nazis, or the Japanese government, killed them. Remember that almost all of those who die in war – even most of the soldiers who fought on the German side in World War II – are relatively innocent, even if their governments are not. And try your best to hold politicians accountable so that we’ll have fewer such deaths in the future rather than more.
After reading Henderson’s piece, please watch the clip above and sign this petition that encourages Congress to end the fruitless, tragic war in Afghanistan – currently the longest in American history.
PS: This just in today:
NATO has apologized for the deaths of Afghan civilians in an air strike in southern Afghanistan…
Authorities in Helmand Province said 14 civilians had died in the strike on May 28, 12 of them children.
Only when we are victorious do we revel in warfare. We must remember the anguish, the pain, the losses that result, and do everything we can to convince the leaders of our governments to find ways to settle their differences without killing.