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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Community Comment

Wild Card Monday May 27, 2008

Good morning, Netizens...

As this morning's gentle ambiance wafts over the city, scattering the debris in the gutters downtown, I wanted to remember the purpose of Memorial Day past, before anyone tells me about their wild camping trips or vacations on the clamshell. In this picture, Julie McBride from Los Angeles weeps as she kneels before crosses set up to represent each U.S. soldier killed in Iraq at the Arlington West War Memorial in Santa Monica, Calif. on Monday. McBride said she worked for Halliburton in Iraq in 2004 and 2005. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel) (May 26, 2008)

It stands to reason, in my mind, that if she can kneel alone before this field of crosses, shedding tears for men and women she did not personally know, where were we? Camping?

Better yet, another question begs an answer, when the decisions were made which took our nation into Iraq, when the Bush Administration alienated half the world with his abjectly-dysfunctional foreign policy, where were we? Asleep?

We all have made decisions that set our courses, be they for or against wars of all kinds. So, this morning, with the smell of cordite wafting over the thousands of cemeteries from all the 21-gun salutes to fallen soldiers that ever have rung out, and with the sounds of Mz. McBride still weeping alone before a field of crosses, I will close with a series of quotations from some of my elders, each of whom have spoken out clearly against the ghastly business we call war and dying for our country, for I am and have always tried to be a pacifist.

First, my favorite tree-hugger, who was and still is right in many of her beliefs about man and nature:
We cannot have peace among men whose hearts delight in killing any living creature. By every act that glorifies or even tolerates such moronic delight in killing we set back the progress of humanity.
-- Rachel Carson

...and because of all the Presidents in my tour of duty, in my opinion he was most-representative of what I consider Christianity should be, President Jimmy Carter:
War may sometimes be a necessary evil. But no matter how necessary, it is always an evil, never a good. We will not learn how to live together in peace by killing each other's children.
-- Jimmy Carter

...and because he once was a friend decades ago, and because aside from the many obtuse things he did in the public eye, he was truly a believer in Peace, the late Abby Hoffman:
If people were forced to eat what they killed there would be no more war.
-- Abbie Hoffman

It is good and has merit that we should honor our fallen war dead. If they could speak, they would, each to a person, tell us no more wars. --Dave Laird

What did you do for Memorial Day?


Spokesman-Review readers blog about news and issues in Spokane written by Dave Laird.