Who Do You Remember on Memorial Day?
It is natural to first remember those who are closest to us. Many of us have been personally touched by war. But we must also extend that mourning. We must remember the combat veterans, civilian victims, and their families, who are all equally human beings. Honoring and remembering some deaths while ignoring others not only perpetuates war, but also ignores the moral injuries of war, which some now recognize as a significant cause of veteran suicide. This Memorial Day, Veterans For Peace is reminding the public that the human cost of war is more than human soldiers, but also the people who are caught in the crossfire.
“Our message for Memorial Day is to remember all who have died in war and to understand that no one wins,” said Michael McPhearson, Veterans For Peace Executive Director. “There are people who profit from war, mainly those who invest in the defense industry or possibly the oil sector. But the veterans and civilians who survive war suffer for the rest of their lives. And the entire society is robbed of billions of tax dollars which could be spent on jobs, education, healthcare, infrastructure and sustainable energy.”
Each year, members of Veterans For Peace participate in a wide range of activities in cities and towns all across the nation to observe Memorial Day.
In Washington, D.C., Veterans For Peace will display the Swords to Plowshares Belltower from May 19th-31st, to remember all people killed in war. On Memorial Day, members and friends will gather at the Vietnam Veterans War Memorial to deliver approximately 150 letters written to soldiers whose names appear on The Wall, as part of the Vietnam Full Disclosure Campaign. “Many of the letters are written by military veterans; some are written by anti-war veterans; a few are written by children of Vietnam War veterans; and some come from family members of veterans,” said Doug Rawlings, a Vietnam War veteran and one of the organizers of the event.