Memorial Day should remind us that our troops need to come home

A day for all heroes, including the heroes of peace.

By Ludy Astraquillo Ongkeko, Ph.D.

Once again, a holiday traditionally observed on the last Monday of May is almost on the radar screen. 

For decades and decades now, Memorial Day has focused on remembering all those who lost their lives in war.  Hence, we’ve seen celebrations and observances center on the women and men of the military, they who hearkened and answered the various calls of Faith and country. More and more remembrances remind us of those who were casualties of the Iraq War and Afghanistan, both scenarios not unknown in present-day conversations in the U.S. and elsewhere.

How about our heroes who returned from the war zones who almost didn’t make it back because they were physically, mentally and emotionally battered?  They are our living heroes.  They should be remembered on Memorial Day.

Too, there are heroes who need to be remembered not only because of having gone to battle. They are those who have stood up courageously to a president for truth and justice. How about those who are fighting in the halls of Congress coming from all sides of the political spectrum who are intent on letting the American people and the world know that they are working hard to find the means to get out of the mess that is going on in government?  Isn’t theirs acts of valor too?

Isn’t everyone who has stood up against what’s going on in government — news commentators, writers, journalists and those who have wielded their pens over and above the prevailing atmosphere — heroes likewise?

How about members of the U.S. military deployed in what could be “war zones?” Isn’t it sufficiently clear that the U.S. does not belong in other continents’ civil and religious wars? One doesn’t need to be a rocket scientist to conclude that U.S. troops shouldn’t be deployed where they are not welcome.  Those countries need to make their own decisions, run their own governments.  Running it in their own way will make them realize that they need to take control of their very country. U.S. troops need to come home, to their own home, America.

Doesn’t Washington need a continuous reminder?  U.S. troops do not belong to the White House. All troops are America’s children. They are heroes.  It should be remembered that people voted through their own representatives that they do not wish to see foreign conflict in their midst. Ignoring political affiliations, American soldiers put their lives on the line for all of America.  They deserve to be honored.

Memorial Day is for all heroes, including the heroes of peace. The day should send a strong message to White House policymakers that the people of America do not seek conflicts that would lead to war.

Haven’t the American people gone through the stress of costly and unnecessary wars, only to be opposed by the countries they are supposed to protect? Those who have stood up to White House decisions are also heroes.

Let the last Monday of May remind every American that Memorial Day is for all war heroes, including the heroes of peace.

© The FilAm 2019

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