November 11th became a federal holiday in 1938. An act of Congress declared it to be “…a day to be dedicated to the cause of world peace.” The Act was amended in 1954 the holiday became renamed ‘Veterans Day’ by amendment to the 1938 act so that all veterans could be honored.
My first memory of there even being such a thing as a Veteran was as a small child who wanted one of the paper poppies the old men were selling by a storefront in the little farming town outside of which I lived as a child. Then there were the stories of my uncle Carl who was an aviation mechanic in England during WWII. Then war became very real for me when my cousin Rick had to have a metal plate replace part of his skull after being injured in Vietnam and my brother came back from there a changed person having been shot once when in Hue and then catching some shrapnel under his vest in Khe Sahn. It was difficult for me to take my Girl Scouts to march in the Veterans Day Parade when I was a GS Leader. It is still very emotional for me.
Wars do not end when the bombs stop falling and the fighting ceases. Both American and Vietnamese victims of agent orange are. traveling through the US for the next month talking about the ongoing consequences of the Vietnam War.
The consequences of this War on Iraq will not end in our lifetimes. Young women like Kelly Dougherty will never forget their tour of duty in Iraq. She came to realize that the war was being waged for Corporations good not for the benefit of the Iraqi people and that she was being lied to. As a person snagged by the economic draft she was outraged enough to become a peace activist upon her return to the U.S.
Those who are willing to lay down their lives to protect us are heros. I may disagree with waging war, but soldiers don’t start wars, politicians do. So last year I marched with Veterans for Peace. This year, tomorrow, I may do so again. I need to support a day of remembrance and peace. As Steven Laffoley poignantly states in his article Almost Like A Day for Peace, ” “Almost like a day for peace.” And I think: He’s right. We could use a day like that.”
Yes we could.
Tomorrow will be that day for me. Then I start to research more about the gloss over treatment that W’s military service (and lack of it) received. With Mapes new book out and the topic back in the news at a time when many are questioning the integrity of our administration it might be a good time to reexamine his records.
The blog Norwegionanity covered this development quite well.
Dan Gillmor is upset about Mary Mapes reemergence into the spotlight, and I can see where he’s coming from.
And I see where she’s coming from. The documents that ended her job at CBS have never been proven inauthentic. I personally came to believe that they are probably CYA documents created by Kilgore after the fact, but I don’t know that. I do know, however, that 90% of the Powerline/LGF crap I read was specious beyond belief.
I used to work with exactly the kind of documents the ‘60s and ‘70s era Guard produced, and there is no uniformity in how those documents were produced. Citizen-soldier officers often took paperwork to their civilian office for their secretary to do (one of the things that helped create the feminist movement, IMHO).
Mapes got railroaded for some shoddy work in an otherwise timely news story about Bush’s decades of lies regarding his military service.
I’d love to see 60 Minutes reedit that segment and show it again. I think more people would be interested in Bush’s AWOL period now that he’s lost the trust of the people.
I have to agree.