Memorial Day is a time for Americans to say thank you to those who have served and are serving in the U.S. armed forces, and to remember in particular those who have been killed or injured in the line of duty. If you know someone in the U.S. service it takes just a few moments to say thank you and it really is appreciated by those who serve.
And even if you don't agree with the Afghanistan war or other U.S. military activities that are currently underway remember that as Vietnam General William Westmoreland said, “The (U.S.) military don’t start wars. Politicians start wars.”
Memorial Day is also a good time to reflect on war in general and the tremendous suffering and destruction it causes. While there is still war we should not stop asking what are its root causes, and what more can we do to try and prevent it?
The question of why war occurs is no doubt complex with many factors, but one component to keep in mind is the sheer size and business of war, and the affect it has on the livelihoods of millions of people.
Many are familiar with President Eisenhower's 1961 farewell address, and his famous warning about the 'Military-Industrial Complex'. If you haven't watched his full speech it is well worth the 15 minutes of your time.
Ike, a well respected leader with impeccable military credentials, was in a strong position to offer up such a warning.
One wonders if we'll ever see another Ike, or FDR, or TDR or Truman as U.S. President. One has the impression that they just don't make them like that anymore.