FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Why Memorial Day is a Double-Whammy for Me

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:

December 11, 2018
Eric Draitser
AFRICOM: A Neocolonial Occupation Force?
Sheldon Richman
War Over Ukraine?
Louis Proyect
Why World War II, Not the New Deal, Ended the Great Depression
Howard Lisnoff
Police Violence and Mass Policing in the U.S.
Mark Ashwill
A “Patriotic” Education Study Abroad Program in Viet Nam: God Bless America, Right or Wrong!
Laura Flanders
HUD Official to Move into Public Housing?
Nino Pagliccia
Resistance is Not Terrorism
Matthew Johnson
See No Evil, See No Good: The Truth Is Not Black and White
Maria Paez Victor
How Reuters Slandered Venezuela’s Social Benefits Card
December 10, 2018
Jacques R. Pauwels
Foreign Interventions in Revolutionary Russia
Richard Klin
The Disasters of War
Katie Fite
Rebranding Bundy
Gary Olson
A Few Thoughts on Politics and Personal Identity
Patrick Cockburn
Brexit Britain’s Crisis of Self-Confidence Will Only End in Tears and Rising Nationalism
Andrew Moss
Undocumented Citizen
Dean Baker
Trump and China: Going With Patent Holders Against Workers
Lawrence Wittner
Reviving the Nuclear Disarmament Movement: a Practical Proposal
Dan Siegel
Thoughts on the 2018 Elections and Beyond
Thomas Knapp
Election 2020: I Can Smell the Dumpster Fires Already
Weekend Edition
December 07, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Steve Hendricks
What If We Just Buy Off Big Fossil Fuel? A Novel Plan to Mitigate the Climate Calamity
Jeffrey St. Clair
Cancer as Weapon: Poppy Bush’s Radioactive War on Iraq
Paul Street
The McCain and Bush Death Tours: Establishment Rituals in How to be a Proper Ruler
Jason Hirthler
Laws of the Jungle: The Free Market and the Continuity of Change
Ajamu Baraka
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights at 70: Time to De-Colonize Human Rights!
Andrew Levine
Thoughts on Strategy for a Left Opposition
Jennifer Matsui
Dead of Night Redux: A Zombie Rises, A Spook Falls
Rob Urie
Degrowth: Toward a Green Revolution
Binoy Kampmark
The Bomb that Did Not Detonate: Julian Assange, Manafort and The Guardian
Robert Hunziker
The Deathly Insect Dilemma
Robert Fisk
Spare Me the American Tears for the Murder of Jamal Khashoggi
Joseph Natoli
Tribal Justice
Ron Jacobs
Getting Pushed Off the Capitalist Cliff
Macdonald Stainsby
Unist’ot’en Camp is Under Threat in Northern Canada
Senator Tom Harkin
Questions for Vice-President Bush on Posada Carriles
W. T. Whitney
Two Years and Colombia’s Peace Agreement is in Shreds
Ron Jacobs
Getting Pushed Off the Capitalist Cliff
Ramzy Baroud
The Conspiracy Against Refugees
David Rosen
The Swamp Stinks: Trump & Washington’s Rot
Raouf Halaby
Wall-to-Wall Whitewashing
Daniel Falcone
Noam Chomsky Turns 90
Dean Baker
An Inverted Bond Yield Curve: Is a Recession Coming?
Nick Pemberton
The Case For Chuck Mertz (Not Noam Chomsky) as America’s Leading Intellectual
Ralph Nader
New Book about Ethics and Whistleblowing for Engineers Affects Us All!
Dan Kovalik
The Return of the Nicaraguan Contras, and the Rise of the Pro-Contra Left
Jeremy Kuzmarov
Exposing the Crimes of the CIAs Fair-Haired Boy, Paul Kagame, and the Rwandan Patriotic Front
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail