Memorial Day; think you know it?
Most people recognize Memorial Day as a day we honor those in the military who gave their lives in service to our country. It may be understood also that those soldiers fought and died for the freedoms that we hold most sacred. Finding its origins just after the Civil War, the original holiday was termed; Decoration Day. Memorial Day became an official national holiday in 1971.
That is all true and very important to understanding the significance of the day. Thought Pundit dives deeper.
There are, no doubt, those who are cynical about anything related to the American military. The focus for many is often put on civilian casualties, the lust for killing or a perceived hidden agenda of those who take us to war. Are these things legitimate?
A recent example serves as a good illustration of urban myths versus factual information. When the U.S. went to war in Iraq, there was a lot of criticism and accusations that it was all just to enrich President George Bush with oil money from an oil-rich state. This narrative caught on with millions of Americans who felt it justified protesting the war and demanding action on the part of members of Congress.
Worse yet, if someone interested in questioning this claim ran a Google search, they would get result after result of the baseless speculation and the truth would be buried much later in results that most people don’t look at.
The truth is that the new democratic government in Iraq proposed production-sharing agreements, which meant that U.S. drilling would only keep a small fraction and the greatest portion would go to the people of Iraq. This has been an arrangement common for many years in Iraq and was welcomed by the Bush administration.
There have been many civilian casualties in war. This may be one of the saddest truths about war. While ISIS goes out of its way to target civilians, the U.S. does the opposite; attempting to gather as much intelligence as possible to avoid the death of an innocent civilian. In war, even when careful steps are taken, there are terrible mishaps that are not intended. The point is that the U.S. takes steps to avoid the deaths of civilians. Our enemy kills civilians as a matter of routine.
In America’s history, of our involvement in wars, have we ever taken land or resources for ourselves? The correct answer is no. The only land that Americans have taken in foreign lands is in the cemetery plots where thousands of our fallen hero’s are found in their final resting place.
That is the truth about America and our military.