The Mark of Your Shame
Remember Joseph Anzack. Remember Bert Hoyer.
Remember, for these men are dead; their families left to face yet another day without their loved ones. These men, and three thousand souls like them, are gone. The grief of those left behind is beyond your understanding.
And yet on this day--a day dedicated to the memory of those lives sacrificed--some of you are waiting in line at the pump, trying to get out on the road before 9 AM. Some of you are trying to get to the beach before all the good spots are taken. Some of you are peeking in the fridge, trying to check on the ribs you've had marinating since last night, in preparation for today's big barbecue.
For some of you, this is a pageant. This is a show. This is a game. Some of you will attend Memorial Day parades in your hometowns, and when the local VFW honor guard fires off its 21-gun salute, you will plug your ears and flinch at the gunshots. You won't be thinking of the spouses left to raise their children alone; you won't be thinking of the children left to grow up without a mother or father, forever wondering. You'll be hoping you left enough change at the meter; hoping your mother doesn't get drunk again and start calling your wife a tramp.
These are the thoughts that will occupy your mind this Memorial Day. And they will betray you. When you bite into that steak, I hope you taste the blood leaked from three thousand shattered bodies; taste the salty tears of three thousand loved ones. I hope you taste the chalky grit of Iraqi dust in your beer; hope you smell the scorched odor of gunpowder in your lover's perfume.
For those of you to whom this applies, I am offended at your celebration of this holiday. I am sickened. I am repulsed. You do not deserve this day. You are not worthy of these sacrifices. You should mourn for the human beings we can never get back, and you should mourn the path that led them to their deaths.
This day, America, once sacrosanct, is now the mark of your shame.