It behooves Americans not only to pause and consider their war dead, even if just doing so by pondering the anonymous tale of a single lapidary name, but also to think about a contemporary society where the whole concept of such binding sacrifice is equally dead.
There is something desperate about the current quality of politics in Washington DC. It is not that our elected representatives steadily avoid any discussion of key issues. It is rather that the way in which they choose to discuss those key issues trivializes them to the point of folly.
Since Thanksgiving is the most American of holidays, it should come as no surprise that the U.S. Army pulled out all the stops to make us homesick G.I.s partake in a quintessential Thanksgiving dinner in Vietnam.
While waiting in the Kuwaiti desert, I wrote letters to my son as if they might serve as a way for him of understanding why I went to war. For me, writing the letters was a coping mechanism for dealing with the separation.
You will never see the PBS NewsHour listing any contractor among the periodic listings of those killed in Iraq or Afghanistan. Regardless of what you think of the utility of using PMSC such an attitude is just plain morally wrong.
Memorial Day is a national holiday dedicated to remembering Americans killed in wartime. This year, unfortunately, we remember war dead who didn't have to die, and unless Congress and the president act, we'll remember more needless deaths next year.
With Memorial Day coming up, we should take a moment to consider something that's gone largely unremarked in the mainstream media: more than 1,500 troops have now died in a war the American people oppose.
While 68 percent of Americans worry that the war's costs affect our ability to fix problems here at home, we're wasting $2 billion a week on a war that's not making us safer. That sounds pretty stupid to me.