Today, Monday May 31, 2021 is Memorial Day in the United States. This is a holiday where nearly all schools and non-essential businesses and services are closed, so that we observe and honor the memory of the men and women who have died in military service to our nation. Those of you who know me personally or read this blog have seen or heard me being critical of the United States before. Whatever issues I may have with my country are not born out of hate or contempt, but out of love, love for the potential that this great nation has to be the greatest force for good in our entire planet, a potential that we have not yet lived up to. Whatever is good and great about this nation, and there is so much, is owed to those brave men and women who have served this nation and on this day, we honor the memory of those who gave their lives in that service. Whatever potential we have to be the driving force for liberty, justice, progress, equality, peace, and happiness is owed to our veterans and fallen dead. Chief among those freedoms with which we have been given thanks to our veterans is the freedom to be critical of our leaders and our government. This is one of the greatest freedoms of all, as where in other countries one might be jailed or murdered for their criticism, we have the opportunity to influence, however small, our national policy through our voices. Politicians and the greedy corporations who run our country have abused the men and women of our military and our families for far too long by using them as pawns in their schemes to grab power and wealth for themselves under the auspices of saving the world. One of the best ways to say thank you to our veterans and their families, and to honor those no longer with us is by calling for our government to end unnecessary military intervention abroad and to use our military as true peace-keeping forces fighting for good rather than as tools to secure national resources and open markets for the ultra-rich. I will always stand by and support the military and honor the lives of those who gave it all and I will always detest the politicians who hide behind faux-patriotic rhetoric and concern on Memorial Day or Veterans Day and then get right back to the business of slashing aid or benefits for the wounded soldiers who come home. If any of the politicians care about our soldiers as much as they pretend to on Memorial Day, then they can start by taking some of our massive defense budget and spend it in ways to aid the families left behind by our lost soldiers, supporting wounded veterans, and addressing the mental health crisis that faces so many.
If you want to do something to honor our veterans, two great organizations you can support are the Wounded Warrior Project and Team RWB. The Wounded Warrior Project mission is to honor and empower Wounded Warriors who incurred a physical or mental injury, illnesses, or wound, co-incident to your military service on or after September 11, 2001 and Team RWB’s mission is to deliver virtual and local, consistent, and inclusive opportunities for veterans and the community to connect through physical and social activity to assist veterans in adjusting to a return to civilian life.
Click the links below to donate to either organzation.