No Celebration This Memorial Day
Editor's Note: When congressional Democratic leaders surrendered to George W. Bush's game of chicken over funding the Iraq War, they hoped they could return home for their Memorial Day recess without having to face angry pro-Bush voters accusing them of betraying the troops. Instead, they are facing angry anti-war voters accusing them of betraying the troops.
In this guest essay, writer Mary MacElveen voices the kind of anger that many Americans are feeling about a disastrous war brought on by a disastrous political system:As I sat here visiting a non-political chat room which I tend to do from time-to-time just to escape this ugly war and the world of politics, someone asked in the room if we were enjoying this holiday weekend.
I just sat there with an anger rising since I do not see this and recent Memorial Day weekends as being holidays. In reading where 3,451 soldiers are now dead due to President Bush’s lies and his lust for power and greed; just how can one treat this as a normal holiday weekend?
Did I go off on this ignorant individual who may not be up to speed at what this war cost all of us? No, I just sat there with the bile rising and was speechless. Let us just say what would have resulted of my anger would have been the use of expletives in which I would have been kicked off this service. But, what I did notice was that no one answered yes.
Memorial Day usually marks the beginning of summer in which vacations for some Americans are close at hand. I say some since the thought of any vacation is elusive. But as one reads this remark coming from President Bush last week, "It could be a bloody — it could be a very difficult August," one does have to wonder if these vacations will be enjoyed as our men and women continue to die.
In reading that 3,451 soldiers are now dead, they will never see another vacation as President Bush heads off to Crawford, Texas this summer for his normal one-month retreat from the people’s White House.
In reading of this staggering number our congressional members will also enjoy their vacations when they are not in session. No such vacation should be had by any of these lawmakers until this war is ended. Then again, they gave this president a blank-check to continue it.
In going through various newspapers, you will see stores advertising their holiday sales which I suppose will have more entering these businesses seeking bargains. That is also revolting especially when so many men and women have died in a far away land fighting a presumed enemy of President Bush’s own making.
It is abhorrent that these businesses can treat a day we Americans honor our fallen soldiers of past and present wars with sales to increase their profits. It should offend the conscience of every ‘Support our soldier’ citizen that money is being made off of the deaths of so many.
Some soldier gasped his/her last breath so that you the consumer can purchase that hot-ticket item. Think of that as you enter any store this weekend.
As they die in which arms, legs, faces are blown off; Levitz which is a furniture store is having a ‘Blowout’ sale. In fact, they are calling it a ‘Memorial Day Blowout’. In this sale one can purchase a sofa with a matching love seat free for the bargain price of $599.99.
How many spouses of our soldiers will never get to sit on any love seat when their husband or wife will die in Iraq or has died? That love seat will be empty for a long, long time.
In going through my Sunday sales circulars, I see that I can go to Wal-Mart and purchase two tee-shirts at the bargain price of $15 dollars. Most likely those tees were made in China.
Considering how China has sent us tainted food, I will not be running off to Wal-Mart for this bargain. Go stuff it, Wal-Mart!
I can almost hear as one enters Wal-Mart, “Attention, Wal-Mart shoppers buy a pair of cargo shorts for $9.76” when I am reminded that blood has been spilled in a war of President Bush’s making and congresses complicity.
Considering the fact that many Americans are paying for higher gas prices; one wonders how it will affect the sales normally enjoyed by these stores.
I suppose that many Americans will be having their barbeques in which plastic plates are on sale at their local grocery stores; but who feels like having a barbeque when our soldiers continue to die? Who really feels like celebrating anything this weekend? In knowing how many more will die overseas in this far away land known as Iraq, I just cannot treat this as a normal holiday; can you?
Speaking of plastic plates, we all know they are a petroleum based product and petroleum is the very thing this war is being waged over. Should you be holding a Memorial Day barbeque, use regular plates in which you have to toil over the sink in washing them as our men and women in the armed services continue to die overseas.
Call that your sacrifice especially when Americans have not sacrificed one damn thing as this war was raged on. In past wars, we have been told by many presidents to sacrifice, this one, President Bush told all of us to go shopping.
I have heard while growing up and hear it to this day people say, “Happy Memorial Day” and one must ask; just how can they say happy pertaining to this holiday. I even hate calling it a holiday.
Not to be a total downer as I meet my fellow Americans during this weekend, I do wish them a good weekend, but with this reminder in which I state…Pray for our troops and remember those 3,451 who will never enjoy another holiday weekend.
Author Mary MacElveen can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Her blog address is http://www.marymacelveen.com/blog/_archives/2007/5/27/2978517.html
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