Memorial Day, Wendy Jaillet and daughter Jaime marched 3 miles in the Essex Memorial Day Parade, near Ivoryton. Wendy is a girl scout trip leader. I bought a poppy, forgetting that they still do that. I hadn't seen a vet selling poppies since moving to Murphys.
This county put their flags at half staff for a local man who recently died in Afghanistan.
I'm conflicted because I'm against wars as a way of solving problems because it causes so much pain and sacrifice. The cost is not only human carnage. Right now, the trillions spent on our current conflict could more productively be used to assist nation building and lower our national debt.
Remembering those who served and sacrificed? On this trip since January, I've visited Fort Bowie in Arizona, The huge Pacific War Museum at Fredericksburg, Texas, Chalmette Battlefield, the Cabildo, Port Hudson and the LaFitte National Parks of Louisiana, covering the Revolutionary War of 1776, The War of 1812, The Spanish American War and the Civil War. More Civil War battlefields in Gettysburg, PA, and Harpers Ferry in W.Virginia. War is a vivid culture of countries, men and politics like no other.
In short, Memorial Day reminds me of the service and sacrifice made by our armed services and many civilians as well, but it also reminds me of the killing machine going on right now. I despise that it is deemed necessary. I sometimes think my friends believe people who are anti-war are unpatriotic. Not true. Patriotism is as much about keeping the peace as it means fighting for our country's values. Defining those values is not a straight street, and I take it very personally.
My partner Jim Jaillet in 1961.