The Memorial Day dilemma |

The Memorial Day dilemma

Sue Carr-Novotny

This past Memorial Day had special significance given the fact we are at war in Iraq.

Holidays like this pose a bit of a dilemma for those of us who disagree with the use of violence as a means of getting our way in the world and so, I would like to pose a simple question to the community: How does one honor the men and women who gave their lives without honoring war itself?

Why does this pose a dilemma, you ask? I have thought about this in the context of the ideal of defending our freedom and have come to realize that in my lifetime (I was born in 1964) the United States has never had to defend itself in the classic, World War II sense of the word, and yet we have been perpetually at war.

The worst-case scenarios have never played out. Most of the countries that were going to threaten our democracy turned out to be too poor to make it over here to do any real damage.

The only country that posed any real threat was “handled” with diplomacy and very sticky negotiation. This seems to have made more real progress than any use of force could have done.

And so, during this past holiday, I wondered – How do we say thank you to those who believed in what they were doing enough to make such a sacrifice and still question and challenge the motives and tactics of those with the power to send them out to make these sacrifices.

We are talking about precious human lives – no matter what nationality, skin color, political or religious beliefs they hold.

All life is sacred. All of it.

Hmm … perhaps I just answered my own question, but I really want to know what you all think. Thank you.

Sue Carr-Novotny


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