Decoration Day

The original name for Memorial Day. Years ago my dad wrote a nice story about celebrating Decoration Day as a Boy Scout in his hometown of Napa - the focus being on soldiers who had made the ultimate sacrifice and the town's way of honoring them.

Unlike today, for the most part, where the focus is on retail sales, barbecues and drunken boating.

Watching 60 Minutes last night, it's impossible to understand why we still have people in this country supporting the bogus "war" in Iraq. Even one of the National Guard soldiers interviewed thinks there's a connection between 9/11 and Iraq, and he didn't try to connect those dots through Al Queda posting up in Iraq, he linked the two unrelated entities with a giant leap of nothing.

One mother interviewed two years ago just before this battalion shipped out was proud to be sending both her husband and son to Iraq. Proud. Of them, I can understand, but of the mission? After you've been lied to repeatedly? How can that be?

With their deployment extended until this August, now she's not so sure how she feels about it. That's a start. Other wives/mothers interviewed recently had similar feelings. It took losing a life or having their husbands'/sons'/daughters' commitment taken advantage of to get them to think about what's happening.

Some soldiers themselves have changed their opinion of what we're doing over there, admitting that originally they thought we should be there, but believing now that we shouldn't be there and it was a mistake. I'm sure they're but a handful of others.

If we know that Bush lied, using faulty intelligence reports to support his flawed agenda and that there were never any WMDs, the very basis of his reason we should start this war, how can anyone today believe this war is still justified? If we're truly fighting a global war on terrorism, why are we still dumping money into and losing lives in Iraq?

Oh, right, I forgot, "global war on terror" is Texan for "there's so much more money to be made, we can't pull out now."

And then there's this, and this and oh, hey - this. with support from this. Turns out those soldiers weren't lying after all. But there's also this, and let's not forget this. Unforgivable.

There's no way to thank our servicemen/women for the job they do, though I have a few ideas - buy houses for their families at home, support their families while they serve in conflicts, and address their health needs, whatever they might be, for life - for a start.

Their service is an amazing, selfless gift and it's sad that our leaders are so cavalier with that gift. We support the troops and all they do, but not how the CIC abuses them. Where are the leaders who want to do the right thing?