Memorial Day 2012
Der Bahnhof Amberg, Germany 1968
"Once and for all the idea of glorious victories won by the glorious army must be wiped out. Neither side is glorious. On either side they're just frightened men messing their pants and they all want the same thing - not to lie under the earth, but to walk upon it - without crutches." Peter WeissIn 1965 I joined the Army. I had perceived that I wanted to fight in Vietnam for my country just like my Marine older brother had done before me. It later turned out to be an indication of how naive and ignorant an eighteen year old can actually be. Providentially, I was spared from becoming cannon-fodder by an apparent glitch in the Pentagon computer and other unforeseen forces in the universe. I realized by the time the above picture was taken that most of what we had been told by our leaders about the justification for the war in Vietnam was a lie. Sound familiar?
I don't blame the front line soldiers, for many of them are impressionable young men and women who don't know any better. They end up being a pawn to be used in some jingoistic politician's speech or war profiteering corporation's commercial each Memorial Day.
They are not of course born for this purpose. They are flesh and bone, sons and daughters whose potential as human beings has been suddenly snuffed out by evil or misguided political leaders.