Thoughts on Memorial Day
When you visit Gettysburg, the most moving sight will probably not be the round tops, nor the Cyclorama, nor Cemetary Hill nor the view out at Seminary Ridge, nor even the cemetary itself. As moving as those are, the most moving and important sight is probably the Eternal Light Peace Memorial. The inscription reads:
“An enduring light to guide us in unity and fellowship.”
“With firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right. – Lincoln”
As we remember our boys, girls, men and women on this day, my hope is that we do it such a way that renews America’s commitment to peace. Lets stop these endless, mindless “police actions”, and work towards Congress finally enforcing the War Powers Act in a meaningful way. Wars should not be fought over oil, over our desire to impose our way of life (re: Western-style democracy) on others. It should only be a last resort, and never done proactively.
This is one thing nearly all of my friends seem to agree on, liberal, libertarian, right, left, Tea Party: We have wasted too much of our nations blood, money and energy on wars. It is not up to us to be the police of the world. It is not up to us to defend corporate interests. And it is not up to us to impose our way of life on others. America is a republic, not an empire.
Here is what some of our greatest leaders, generals, presidents, etc, have said about war:
“The executive has no right, in any case, to decide the question, whether there is or is not cause for declaring war.” -James Madison
“Governments constantly choose between telling lies and fighting wars, with the end result always being the same. One will always lead to the other.” -Thomas Jefferson
“My first wish is to see this plague of mankind, war, banished from the earth.” -George Washington
“There never was a good war or a bad peace.” -Benjamin Franklin
“There is no glory in battle worth the blood it costs.” -Dwight D. Eisenhower
“History teaches that war begins when governments believe the price of aggression is cheap.” -Ronald Reagan
– Al-Vis 5/28/2012
Eternal Light Peace Memorial at Oak Hill, Gettysburg PA