FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Why Memorial Day is a Double-Whammy for Me

by CINDY SHEEHAN

Memorial Day is a double-whammy for me.

You see, my son Casey was born on Memorial Day 29 years ago.
When he was growing up, we would gather dozens of our friends and relatives to celebrate his birthday.

Now a few of us gather at his grave in Vacaville, California, to mourn his death and cry for his life that was stolen from him by George W. Bush.

Casey is not buried in a military cemetery, but there are many veterans of other wars buried in his cemetery.

The flags flutter on Memorial Day as living vets from many past wars salute the flags and their fallen comrades.

Seeing all the flags and the battered vets paying homage makes my stomach turn and my heart break for all the broken families that have had to pay needlessly high prices for this war, and other imperial wars, like Vietnam.

In Vacaville, there are many mothers whose sons were killed in Vietnam. I remember seeing them the first Memorial Day after Casey was killed. I sat with them at a ceremony and saw my future in their faces lined from years of grief and longing for the voice or the touch of a son that will never come.

On this Memorial Day, I would like you to take a few moments from your day off and stare into the faces of grief.

Go to a nearby military cemetery and look at the American flags stuck on each grave and think of the person buried there who was killed for the greed of empire or for the blunders, greed and hubris of a nation.

And remember, for every person buried there, at least ten more loved that person and were shattered by the loss. Instead of saluting, softly say: “I’m sorry.”

On this Memorial Day, remember, too, to look at the pictures of Iraqi children being lifted out of rubble after their homes have been bombed by U.S. jets.

Please say, “I’m sorry,” for them, also.

And let us not be fooled.

With a presidential election season upon us, we need to recognize the militarism of each candidate and realize that their positions on war and empire are not so different from each other.

We need to rededicate our lives to opposing empire, war and unbridled presidential power so that Memorial Day is not grief-soaked for thousands more families to come.

I know I will never experience Memorial Day as a holiday again.

For me, this is not a day to kick off the beginning of the summer season, or to have a leisurely cookout or to watch the Indy 500. And it’s no longer a day to have a birthday party for Casey.

For me and for thousands of families devastated by Bush’s wars, this is a day to solemnly reflect upon our personal loss – and on how our nation has lost its way.

Instead of resorting to violence and war, we need to honor life and to solve global problems peacefully.

We need to make Memorial Day a relic of the past.

Then I will celebrate.

CINDY SHEEHAN is running for congress as an independent. She can be reached through her website.

 

 

 

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

August 29, 2016
Eric Draitser
Hillary and the Clinton Foundation: Exemplars of America’s Political Rot
Patrick Timmons
Dildos on Campus, Gun in the Library: the New York Times and the Texas Gun War
Jack Rasmus
Bernie Sanders ‘OR’ Revolution: a Statement or a Question?
Richard Moser
Strategic Choreography and Inside/Outside Organizers
Nigel Clarke
President Obama’s “Now Watch This Drive” Moment
Robert Fisk
Iraq’s Willing Executioners
Wahid Azal
The Banality of Evil and the Ivory Tower Masterminds of the 1953 Coup d’Etat in Iran
Farzana Versey
Romancing the Activist
Frances Madeson
Meet the Geronimos: Apache Leader’s Descendants Talk About Living With the Legacy
Nauman Sadiq
The War on Terror and the Carter Doctrine
Lawrence Wittner
Does the Democratic Party Have a Progressive Platform–and Does It Matter?
Marjorie Cohn
Death to the Death Penalty in California
Winslow Myers
Asking the Right Questions
Rivera Sun
The Sane Candidate: Which Representatives Will End the Endless Wars?
Linn Washington Jr.
Philadelphia District Attorney Hammered for Hypocrisy
Binoy Kampmark
Banning Burkinis: the Politics of Beachwear
Weekend Edition
August 26, 2016
Friday - Sunday
Louisa Willcox
The Unbearable Killing of Yellowstone’s Grizzlies: 2015 Shatters Records for Bear Deaths
Paul Buhle
In the Shadow of the CIA: Liberalism’s Big Embarrassing Moment
Rob Urie
Crisis and Opportunity
Charles Pierson
Wedding Crashers Who Kill
Richard Moser
What is the Inside/Outside Strategy?
Dirk Bezemer – Michael Hudson
Finance is Not the Economy
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Bernie’s Used Cars
Margaret Kimberley
Hillary and Colin: the War Criminal Charade
Patrick Cockburn
Turkey’s Foray into Syria: a Gamble in a Very Dangerous Game
Ishmael Reed
Birther Tries to Flim Flam Blacks  
Brian Terrell
What Makes a Hate Group?
Andrew Levine
How Donald Trump Can Still be a Hero: Force the Guardians of the Duopoly to Open Up the Debates
Howard Lisnoff
Trouble in Political Paradise
Terry Tempest Williams
Will Our National Parks Survive the Next 100 Years?
Ben Debney
The Swimsuit that Overthrew the State
Ashley Smith
Anti-imperialism and the Syrian Revolution
Andrew Stewart
Did Gore Throw the 2000 Election?
Vincent Navarro
Is the Nation State and Its Welfare State Dead? a Critique of Varoufakis
John Wight
Syria’s Kurds and the Wages of Treachery
Lawrence Davidson
The New Anti-Semitism: the Case of Joy Karega
Mateo Pimentel
The Affordable Care Act: A Litmus Test for American Capitalism?
Roger Annis
In Northern Syria, Turkey Opens New Front in its War Against the Kurds
David Swanson
ABC Shifts Blame from US Wars to Doctors Without Borders
Norman Pollack
American Exceptionalism: A Pernicious Doctrine
Ralph Nader
Readers Think, Thinkers Read
Julia Morris
The Mythologies of the Nauruan Refugee Nation
George Wuerthner
Caving to Ranchers: the Misguided Decision to Kill the Profanity Wolf Pack
Ann Garrison
Unworthy Victims: Houthis and Hutus
Julian Vigo
Britain’s Slavery Legacy
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail