I listened Sunday night to the radio broadcast of the Concert on the White House lawn, and for a brief moment I had hope that this was going to be an evenhanded celebration of the sacrifices of both the soldiers and their families.
Yes, the suffering of families in the current conflicts were told. And the best part of the evening was the statement of a recent Iraq war widow about her pain, her difficulty in finding other widows with whom to share their difficulties, and her determination that these women shall not be forgotten. I hope she stays with this. We need an organization called Widows and Widowers of Foreign Wars alongside the long standing Veterans of Foreign Wars.
But for previous wars there was little or no mention of the sacrifices by mothers and widows. What we were given was dramatic presentations of war history accompanied by truly soul stirring music. Speeches by Colin Powell and our present chief general were the usual cant. Essentially in order to highlight the sacrifice of our soldiers we glorify war itself.
When Memorial Day becomes a day of national mourning for the ugly horror that war is, I shall indeed celebrate it.