May 29, 2006

Memorial Day

Mia and I are sitting here having breakfast. I'm eating my cereal and drinking my coffee while Mia stares up at me shoving Cheerios into her mouth, smiling the whole time. It's pretty much the most perfect morning ever, and will be until tomorrow rolls around at which time I'm sure I'll find something even better, even cuter to move it into the top slot. But it's the kind of morning lots of men and women are missing right now, or will always miss, because they're currently serving our country.

From my point of view, violence is rarely the answer. War is a terrible, terrible thing to be avoided at all costs. The decisions to go to war are political ones. Right or wrong, it's the folks in the military who are charged to carry those out. For them, we must be eternally grateful. And I am.

We can hope a lot of things - hope that decisions to put people in harm's way aren't taken lightly, are justified by facts instead of hunches, by proof instead of rhetoric. Hope that we use those forces wisely, to prevent genocide and other truly horriffic crimes against innocent people instead of merely protecting oil or catering to those who provide it. Hope that force is used only to promote the greater good of all, instead of revenge for the few.

More than anything, I think we need to recognize the difference between the people making the decisions and those whose job it is to carry those decisions out. One group has a choice, the other doesn't. Were you to ask any solider what his or her primary job was, the answer would be simple - to serve our country. Not the whims of one idiotic Texan and his merry band of fools and yes-men, but the country. You and I. The sacrifices they make each and every day are worthy of - demand, actually - our support.

Posted by Chris at May 29, 2006 08:28 AM

Very nicely stated. And absolutely correct. No matter how any one feels about the war itself, the leaders of our country, or the political issues we face here at home, we should always, always support our soldiers.

Posted by: Alissa at May 29, 2006 09:12 AM

It still infuriates me that so many people have taken the mistakes of Vietnam and made them into "fact" for today. There are people who are serving our country today who did not vote for the current president. Although it is more wrong to treat men and women who hold ideals strongly enough that they would dedicate their lives to protecting the weak and defenseless (I keep thinking of this one soldier who died to protect an Iraqi child from a bomb), I just hope the noise from those that wish to divide us isn't taken seriously by the troops. America, Red, Blue or Plaid, is behind the selfless individuals.

Posted by: alektra at May 29, 2006 09:27 AM

I do not support the war in Iraq at all but I support the troops 100%. There is a difference and I wish people would realize that.

I had an acquaintance who died in Iraq about a year ago from a roadside bomb. He was a boy scout type of guy and was proud to serve. I'm sure he was happy to be there in the middle of the action doing his part for his country, but I can't help thinking what a waste his death was. He was one of the good ones and I will remember him today.

Posted by: Beth in StL at May 29, 2006 09:29 AM

Thanks for making this distinction between those who decide and those who serve - you always do, but on Memorial Day it's especially important. I join you in gratitude for those who serve, past and present. Today I'll leave aside my disdain for certain others to focus on that gratitude.

Enjoy the day -- and the week -- with Mia and Beth!

Posted by: shelley at May 29, 2006 10:26 AM

Amen to that. Well stated as always.

Have fun with your time off!

Posted by: Kate the Shrew at May 29, 2006 10:49 AM

Coming out of lurkdom...well said.

Posted by: mama_tulip at May 29, 2006 11:10 AM

Today my girls and I will head for our Courthouse Square park with its Memorial to all of our service men and women.

We'll bow our heads for a moment and say thank you. I want my girls to realize that Memorial Day is something other than an extra day off.

I was against Viet Nam, I think the Iraq war is an obscenity, and I want our men and women home. My son is in the National Guard and may yet find himself there. He's 38.

I have never for one minute blamed the troops, no matter how much I despise the people who sent them there. And I mourn every one of the almost 2500 who were killed there.

I can start ranting again tomorrow. Today is for reflection and gratitude.

Posted by: ann adams at May 29, 2006 11:29 AM


The only thing I would like to add is that this is a perfect time to show troop support by sending a card to Walter Reed or visiting to send supplies or letters to the front lines... or even making a five dollar donation to the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund or any military charity that supports the men and women who serve... and the families they leave behind.

Posted by: Betty at May 29, 2006 11:29 AM

I'm right there with ya...totally against the war...wholeheartedly supporting our troops.

Posted by: Marilyn at May 29, 2006 11:43 AM

Well said, wishing you countless more mornings like the one you had today. Have a great week off.

Posted by: Kate at May 29, 2006 12:13 PM

As the daughter of several generation of military men, I am incredibly proud of their service and sacrifices. You've said it perfectly. We can honor what they do, not the person(s) who make the decisions to place them in war.

Have a great day with your girls!

Posted by: samantha at May 29, 2006 12:25 PM

Why do you hate America?


Posted by: ku nkiko at May 29, 2006 02:15 PM

It's always good to see that some people understand the distinction. Unfortunately, there are a lot of people out there who fail to grasp the difference. And a few who have left ration thought all together. Did you see the articles about the church group from Kansas who is protesting at military funerals? I can't even begin to find the link they are making between these events.

Enjoy your week off and your family time. Mia is lucky to be growing up in a thoughtful household.

Posted by: Annie at May 29, 2006 03:17 PM

Well said! (and yay cherrios!)

Posted by: Heather at May 29, 2006 04:06 PM

Hear! Hear! Well said.

Posted by: Krista at May 29, 2006 04:52 PM

Well said, as usual, Chris. Thanks for that. This is a time when I don't mind that our countries are often tied so closely together - when I remember that along with Dubya, our southern neighbours (yes, with a U :-P) include people like you (and many of your readers.)

Posted by: Heather at May 29, 2006 05:49 PM

As a Marine, my youngest son went to Iraq on the 4th of July, 2005. He came home safely, January 29, 2006. His group is scheduled to go back sometime January 2007. My grandfather fought in WWI and my cousin's husbands fought in Vietnam. They were/are all great men in my eyes and I'm greatful for them and their selfless service to this country.

Thank you for your wonderful words.

Posted by: Brenda at May 29, 2006 09:15 PM

That is why, while I am completely against this war our leaders have thrown our countries into, I feel nothing but gratitude, admiration, fear and sympathy for the men and women that are forced to carry it out.

They are doing their job. And I support them in that, regardless of what I think of the reasons behind it.

God speed them.

God speed.

Posted by: Alice at May 30, 2006 06:17 AM

I too am against this war, but will always support our men and women who choose to serve and protect our country. It's a shame that some of them may die for an unworthy cause (in my eyes at least) that Dubya has put them in. My thoughts and prayers go out to them and their families. My friend is a Marine and for the longest time I didn't think he was coming back b/c I hadn't hear from him since X-Mas 2004. That was when he was in Iraq. Right after Christmas they shipped him over to Afghanistan. Glad to know that he has been home safe for quite some time now :) God bless all our troops, active duty, retired or those who have passed in the protection of the country we love.

Posted by: Michelle at May 30, 2006 09:20 AM

Geez, there you go making all sort of sense again.

Why do you continue to blur "reality" with those pesky facts when the administration's "truthiness" works just fine. This is too complex to consider, for our troops? For the war! Against the war... you are harboring terroists in your basement.

Seriously though, nicely said.

Posted by: Latte Man at May 30, 2006 11:41 AM

Beautifully stated. I have had one of those yellow 'Support Our Troops' ribbons on my car, well, for years now. I get flack about it sometimes and I take pride in letting people know that it is not the reason or the war I am behind, it is the men and women who wont get to sleep in their beds tonight, who cant kiss their children good night, who might not be there when their parents pass away or their babies are born, it is them I support and I always will. They are truly brave and I will be forever indebted to them.

Posted by: Kelly M. at May 30, 2006 11:49 AM

i'm still having issues with the fact that i live in canada and we don't celebrate memorial day here....

Posted by: ali at May 30, 2006 11:53 AM


Posted by: Torrie at June 2, 2006 03:55 PM