Memorial Day contradictions

How does a veteran for peace approach Memorial Day?  

We are conflicted. Except for the few solemn, quiet ceremonies that simply help us remember the fallen and allow personal reflection on war and its horrors, Memorial Day bursts at the seams with celebrations of some mythical just cause, good war, and freedom defended.

WarIsARacketCoverThe truth is that war is just a racket, as General Smedley Butler taught us, following his participation in the pillage of Central and South American at the behest of the United Fruit Company and others.

So we struggle over the need to give tribute to innocent lives lost for empire and our disdain for empty patriotic rhetoric.

This struggle will not be settled this year, but today our chapter will discuss this and other issues at our monthly meeting following the ceremony at the Corvallis National Guard Armory. The ceremony starts at 2pm and we will meet across King’s Boulevard at Woodstock’s Pizza at about 3pm. All are welcome to join us, especially those who object to our views. A fact-based, constructive dialogue may ensue.

Thanks to our chapter member, Denis White, who drew our attention this morning to a very power letter in our local newspaper, the Corvallis Gazette-Times.

Oil-rich corporate Caesars trumpet loud falsehoods to create a “Fearsome Other” from our human oneness.
Decree “Shock and Awe”; blast buildings to rubble, and bodies — some wrinkled-old or tiny-new — into broken bloody bits.
Our own just-grown, trained, adrenaline pumping, shouting “Burn, Baby, Burn”; begin the endless, soul-stealing, killing needed to subjugate the Fearsome Other.
Our Mothers, arms aching to hug living child, receive a folded flag, and a myth of her honor. Plus a “Special Day to Remember” what her heart never, for a moment, can forget.
Thais Thomas

Thank you, Thais Thomas, for this and a few other very moving letters over the past year here and here.

About VFP Linus Pauling Chapter

Veterans For Peace (VFP) is dedicated to eliminating war as an implement of foreign policy and to that end, works to educate the public about the true costs of war. Veterans For Peace (VFP) Linus Pauling Chapter 132 is a chapter of Veterans For Peace, St. Louis, MO, which has been waging peace since 1985 and is an NGO recognized by the United Nations. The local chapter and the national organization are both 501(c)3 non-profit organizations. Veterans For Peace is made up of veteran and associate members. More information about the national organization, including our Statement of Purpose and contact information for a VFP chapter near you, may be found at:
This entry was posted in Foreign Policy, Human War Toll, Linus Pauling Chapter Actions, Peace Activism and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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