Re: “Veterans continue to inspire through generations” (reader columnist, 5-24).
This over-the-top glorification of war and warriors, sugarcoated as patriotism, is an insult to truth. The 58,000 fallen soldiers of the Vietnam War did not win us freedom or security; they fought and died for stupidity and hubris.
Korea, Grenada, Panama, Bosnia, Kuwait, Iraq and Afghanistan, not to mention the secret wars our government has conducted behind our backs, were likewise dubious, inglorious subterfuge or outright crime, as witnessed by Congress never bothering to officially declare war in any of these cases.
My father was one of the most highly decorated soldiers of World War II, yet he refused to talk much about it, as do most soldiers. The memories were too horrendous. He never made a big deal about Memorial Day. He and the other survivors just silently replayed the roll call of the lost, which included their youth, innocence and sense of the innate beauty of life.
Believing America is always right, our wars are always just, and our warriors deserving of glorification is delusional and dangerous. Warriors are always pawns to a snarling master. They obey. They do their duty as they have been inculcated to understand. Rarely is it truly virtuous.
Let us honor our veterans with support for what they now need in life after giving so much of themselves to their country – not by glorifying the conflicts they were slaves to.