Museum installation depicting scene of My Lai massacre

Visitors look at a re-created scene at the massacre museum at My Lai village in the central province of Quang Ngai on March 7, 2008. March 16, 2008 marks the 40th anniversary of when hundreds of people, most of them civilians and many of them women and children, were killed by US soldiers in what had been intended as a "search and destroy" mission to flush out Viet Cong fighters.

(Photo by Hoang Dinh Nam/AFP via Getty Images)

Memorial Day Is a Day for Remembering the Victims of War

We remember all those who our sociopathic, delusional leaders told us were "the enemy." We remember the multitudes of women, children, the old, and the sick they obscenely wrote off as "collateral damage." We don't forget them.

Members of Veterans For Peace remember America's war dead not just once a year, but every day of our lives, with the solemnity they deserve, not the crass commercialism Memorial Day has become.

We remember the war dead and the far greater number of wounded with missing limbs and the even greater number living with invisible, lifelong devils and injuries in their heads.

We remember the lost contributions they could have made to society that they literally bottled up or destroyed in the epidemic of suicide rampant among veterans.

We remember the domestic violence caused by their devils. We remember their children whose lives were more painful and less joyful than they could have been because of those devils. We remember the way the pain echoes through generations, refreshed by each new war. We remember how our communities and our nation are so much less than they should be because of this underserved burden.

We remember all those that our sociopathic, delusional leaders told us were "the enemy." We remember the multitudes of women, children, the old and the sick they obscenely wrote off as "collateral damage."

We remember our innumerable brothers and sisters of Mother Earth who were killed and wounded: the birds, the four-legged, our family in the seas, the trees and life-giving plants destroyed without thought, the crops and animals that sustain human life.

We remember the billions of people who go without clean water, education and health care because war has stolen the money.

This year we also remember the few winners in what Marine Corp General Smedley Butler called the racket of war, the elite who delight in telling their puppets in government to order up another one. And we remember the winners’ mantra, "Even losing wars make money."

We remember all the losers of that racket, too; we remember each one. We do not remember some and ignore others. Nor do we glorify warriors or war because there is no glory in war. On Memorial Day we remember all the folly and all the costs of war.

We remember what Jeanette Rankin, the first woman in Congress, said as she voted against declaring war in 1917, “You can no more win a war than you can win an earthquake.”

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