Monday, May 28, 2018

Memorial Day 2018

It has been about two years since I visited Arlington National Cemetery, and I have not visited any American memorials since then.  However, I did go to Seoul where the South Koreans mark not just their own dead but those who fought beside them long ago.
These panels and the day itself have a bit more meaning this year with a new war on the peninsula a bit more likely than a few years ago and with the US involved in so many wars.

Stories about Arlington filling up and new policies being developed so that not all vets can be buried there are more than just ironic--they are symbolic of America's forever wars.  Sure, the reality has more to do with the past wars and large militaries, but, at this moment in time, I can't help but notice that America is receiving war dead from multiple battlefields, including new ones such as Niger as well as old ones (Iraq, Afghanistan).  

On days like today, I feel like we need to embrace our humility--that the use of force is of questionable utility, that we can't accomplish as much as we'd like. So, perhaps we ought to be more cautious about deploying the armed forces.  How about we make sure that what our soldiers, sailors, marines, and aviators are doing are worth the risks they face and the damage they and their families incur?

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