Monday, September 17, 2007

I read the news today, oh boy

Lots of photos in the local newspapers this morning of a grieving family at a military funeral. A young man from the little town just up the road was killed in Iraq on his 21st birthday. When I first read reports of his death, my heart ached for his parents and for his very young widow, whom he married before he left. Then I read that his father was not only a veteran himself, but an "unpaid volunteer military recruiter", whatever that means. This guy has a rec room full of military paraphernalia that glorifies fighting and war, and he invites local high school kids there to try to talk them into enlisting.

Here's what I think about it now: At least he got his own son killed instead of someone else's.


Ben said...

This subject came up at work today with two coworkers in my office. They were just shaking their heads about what a tough break and wasn't it nice the way the whole town turned out and all the flags along the roadways, etc. etc. As I considered whether to jump in and share views exactly matching yours, they strayed into how wrong it was for people to criticize the war effort and how they're all no better than Jane Fonda during the Vietnam war. Ope, I mean conflict. So I didn't say anything because I was so mad I was turning colors. And now I'm mad again because I didn't say anything.

So tomorrow I am saying something.

tom said...

Wilfred Owen nailed it in 1918:

If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie; Dulce et Decorum est
Pro patria mori.

Julie said...

man that poem rules.

probably one of my favorites, and one of the better things that came out of high school lit class readings.

and yet, the times i've referenced it to people (and there have been several), many of them haven't heard it!

maybe the mother and the young wife deserve some sympathy, at least--although as military wives, they might've been just as gung ho as the dad.