Memorial Day is dedicated to those who have died in the service of our country. Americans give serious thought to why our honored dead sacrificed their lives.
(There is no room here for the ignorance or distortions that presently are hoisted upon this day. Memorial Day is not the Fourth of July, Veterans Day, Support Our Troops Day, War Movie Day, or the travesty of a Happy Memorial Day Sale of up to 50% off chosen items.)
WHY did they sacrifice their lives?
The easy answer is, “For their country.” What does that mean? Let’s unspin the blurb and hoopla.
There are definitely some things the honored dead did not sacrifice their lives for.
The honored dead did NOT sacrifice their lives for:
*The closing of large numbers of public schools in non-weathy school districts, districts that many of the honored dead themselves came from, to be replaced by for-profit corporations experimenting on our precious children while training them for social-class appropriate work tasks. Social class appropriate – as defined by corporate gathered date.
*The hypocritical demand for severe penalties for flag burning made by the same politicians calling for their states to secede from the United States of America.
*The one to two year delay for veterans of needed federal benefits, such as food and clothing for themselves and their families.
*The need for tax funded food stamps by the families of active members of our Armed Forces.
*A national minimum wage that allows mega-corporations to require that over 50% of their full time employees be eligible for food stamps and/or subsidized housing. Minimum wages that are not living wages. The working poor that surround us.
*The abandonment of elderly retired teachers and other state employees by denying them their constitutional and contractual rights to their own pensions and, in many cases, their only hope for any healthcare in several states. Pensions that they fully paid for as legislators pillaged the money (underfunding) and now demand that the victims be penalized for.
*The slow starvation, healthcare void and abusive deprivation of the infants and children of the poor because of a political austerity measure named, for lack of a better term, Sequestration.
*A U.S. senator to refuse to approve the necessary funds for tornado victims while the total number of dead school children had not yet been finally counted. Funding which needed to await his ideological personal concept of shared sacrifice of tax allotments.
*The insanity of declaring money as free speech and a corporation as a person with equal rights and unequal responsibilities. Legal fiction.
*The denial of sufficient funding for public schools as hundreds of millions of dollars are handed to campaign contributors by politicians who grant tax incentives. Often given to billionaires who use their tax free foundations (under the guise of philanthropic organizations) to make even larger profits from charters and testing corporations.
*The legalized multinational monopolies that control and/or own news outlets, media sources and newspapers – thereby giving attention or slant to only those things the investors choose to publicize.
*The jailing of people for over ten years while awaiting a trial because the person lacks funds for a lawyer – as witnessed in cities and rural areas across the country.
*The privatization of prisons where prisoners, for even minor offenses, serve years as they are paid 50¢ an hour for doing the jobs that were lost to the citizens of surrounding towns.
*The federal and presidential approval for Monsanto to be free to poison food sources while also killing the world’s bee population (80%) that pollinates crops. This threatens world starvation and massive human population displacement that even the Russian oligarchs realize will cause a World War.
*The gross overspending of billions of dollars for military weaponry that the Pentagon does not want and cannot utilize. The corporations and contractors, once referred to as war profiteers, often even outsource the work and industry to oversees companies and non-American workers as they keep their profits in untaxable shelters in other countries.
*The party chosen political candidates and federal appointees who decide the use of tax dollars are chosen from those who themselves hide/conceal/shelter their own money in undisclosed amounts in secret overseas accounts rather than pay American taxes.
*The too-big-to-jail bankers and investment managers who make vast amounts of illegal and laundered money while even the Department of Justice admits that they cannot be pursued. The same ones who caused and continue to benefit from the worldwide recession that created and furthers so much needless burden and sacrifice.
The list goes on.
The actual American Dream of Fairness for All is at risk. Not the spin and jabber, the actual concept of Fairness for All. The purpose of our government is at stake.
What can we do to advance and protect what so many Americans died to defend?
As Abraham Lincoln stated so eloquently in 1863 with his Gettysburg Address, “It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain…”