memorial day, 2010

Although I think it's legitimate to mourn the mis-uses of violence that have been perpetrated over the years by our extremely ginormous military, today is a good day to remember that America is in many ways much, much less war-like than many powerful nations of the past and present.

It is also good to pause and remember that this is a broken world, and that there are moments when we can be grateful for those who have fought to protect innocents in danger. I, for one, am grateful to live in a society where I can rely on a police force that is only mildly corrupt and can be mostly counted on in a crisis to protect my family from those who would do violence against it. There are places in the world (like the favelas of Brasil, for instance) where the innocent must fear violence from the police themselves. While it is very difficult even in retrospect to know whether governments have taken up the sword for justice or against it, the people on the ground who end up using that sword are often men and women of great courage, who willingly accept that they may in fact die by it.

My great-grandfather and both my grandparents on my mother's side fought in WWI and WWII, respectively. Although America's motivation for entry into those wars is perhaps suspect, them there Nazis had to be stopped. So here is me, thanking those who for a variety of reasons entered into an ugly thing and stopped a greater ugliness from spreading, often at the cost of their own lives.


  1. It's too bad this sort of thing doesn't fit onto a bumper sticker.


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