Memorial Day 2004

I’m posting late about this important day, but it shouldn’t be taken as a diminished view of those it is meant to commemorate. War is a dark and shifting mire, but the actions of scores of men and women on the field and elsewhere show that sacrifice and valor can rise to its inky surface. We must not lose the memory of these deeds and these individuals in our despair because they give hope and strength to the belief that even in our darkest times, a greater good can prevail.

“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…”

— Abraham Lincoln, 1863

Perhaps I sound a bit melodramatic, but it’s hard not to when speaking about the near-hyperbole of war.

3 replies on “Memorial Day 2004”

  1. The only question I have about honoring dead soldiers is: Should we honor them even if they fought in an unjust war like the Iraq war? Is it the soldiers’ heroism that matters or is it the soldiers’ heroic contributions to a just cause? Most people who have any sort of ethical values would respect honoring the US soldiers who fought in WWII, but do the US soldiers who were killed in Iraq deserve the same amount of honoring, despite the war on Iraq being a seemingly unjust war? The war on Iraq was not fought to topple Saddam, since there are plenty of other evil dictators that the US has not overthrown. The main reasons for the war clearly seem to be oil and political gain for the Bush admin., in the form of solidifying Bush’s image as a “war-time president.”

  2. Lincoln is awesome, not to mention the president who has been voted as the best president in US history by numerous panels of historians. He is awesome, not just because of his deep philosophical insights and integrity, but also because he was addamently opposed to pre-imminent wars like the war on Iraq. There is a new book out by George Pataki, former governor of NY, that interprets Lincoln’s many quotes and general views. I may just buy it.

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