Jamie, I feel for you. My father died far too young and I have never got over the loss. And I stand beside you in spirit in your protest about the exploitation of 9/11.
My late husband enjoyed watching the PBS Memorial Day concert. I finally had enough of this glorification of war the year that they focused on limbless veterans. I was so disgusted that I wrote a letter to the Editor:
"Last night I watched the Memorial Day Concert from Washington. And I wept. I wept during the
National Anthem. I wept during the number from Les Mis. I wept at the story of the National Guard man who killed himself.
But mostly, I felt deep disgust.
This concert is, ostensibly, to honor the brave men and women who have fought and died so that this country can be free. Please tell me how more than 2200 dead Americans in Afghanistan (and no one knows how many Afghans); 55,000 dead Americans in Vietnam (and about 500,000 Vietnamese); 37,000 dead Americans in Korea (over half a million Koreans); and more than one million deaths in Iraq have made this country safer or freer.
Those numbers do not include the wounded. How many returned – or were left behind – with catastrophic brain injuries?
How many returned –or were left behind - without limbs? By the way, they tell us that PTSD is a
treatable disorder. But how many veterans are being treated?
This concert is nothing but a glorification of war. The more it is glorified, the longer war will continue. For some – Haliburton, the Pentagon and others – that is a good thing. But I ask, how dare a country entice its citizens (and non-citizens!!!!!: foreigners cannot vote in the US but they can die for it; 18 year-olds are not responsible and mature enough to have a beer with their buddies, but they can risk life or limb for their great country) to sacrifice themselves for a non-event of an ideal: “freedom”. The US is in no danger of invasion, no danger of a totalitarian take-over by foreigners, and no danger of subversive
infiltration, which war wouldn’t prevent anyway.
The stories presented during this concert are horrible. The heroism depicted is incredible. But men and
women should not be expected to be heroic to this extent. Those who volunteer for the armed forces may be misguided, but they know what they are getting into. It is their choice to go to war if called.
The National Guard, on the other hand, sign up to – well - guard the nation. They fully expect to be called to assist in natural disasters, civil unrest and other crises within our borders. They do not sign up to be sent for months at a time to God-forsaken places where they are shot at, maimed or killed – and
come home to no job.
I expect a lot of outrage at this letter. I just hope that the outrage is as much against unnecessary war as it is against me."
The letter was not printed.