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We Honor The Soldiers

By The Reverend Published: May 30, 2011

Tom Ridge and Tommy Franks co-wrote a short op-ed recently which concerned itself with a yet-to-be-completed memorial in Shanksville, Pennsylvania where Flight 93 crashed on 9-11-2001.

Here is a portion...

Just as important as what happened on board Flight 93 that day is what did not happen. The plane was only 18 minutes in flight time from the U.S. Capitol, the likely target, where thousands of people work every day. Yet, thanks to the courage of 40 men and women, thousands more were saved.

Today, a bronze plaque in the East Rotunda of the Capitol lists their names — but nothing more. The men and women of Flight 93 were not trained in combat, battlefield tactics or operational strategy. They were not Navy SEALs, soldiers or generals. They were 40 ordinary people who in a moment became extraordinary heroes — and delivered us our first victory in our war on terrorism. So we ask, this Memorial Day, will the men and women of Flight 93 be remembered? Until we finish the funding of the Flight 93 National Memorial, the answer to this question remains in doubt.

All passengers on board Flight 93 died...yet Ridge and Franks tell us those 40 passengers "delivered us our first victory in our war on terrorism."

There's something very odd about that statement. 4 hijackers intent on giving up their lives to kill Americans were perhaps prevented from killing even more Americans than they did by 40 American passengers willing to give up their lives to stop them. There's strange irony there. Just something to think about.

No country wages more war than the United States. Because America is the police force for the world, America is rarely not in the middle of a military operation. It is who we are as a people. In our role as cop of the world, there is no expense we will not obligate ourselves to pay in order to "protect" the U.S.

We can no longer afford to educate our children, provide medical care for our sick, or take care of our elderly....but we can always...always, find enough money to wage wars in faraway lands.

As a military state, we love to memorialize our fallen military members as heroes, true patriots who have fought and died to protect our freedoms. At least that's what we're told. And yet, as we honor the fallen....we dishonor them as well by being so willing to give up freedoms that we say our heroes have died to save. Freedoms that used to help make us a unique nation.

Today, many Americans will honor fallen warriors from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars of occupation. By publicly honoring our military heroes with parades, speeches and flag waving, we infuse these wars of occupation with some righteous purpose, we justify and vindicate our soldier's deaths by reminding ourselves that they have all died in "defense" of the rest of us.

This is what our brave and valiant soldiers are doing in Afghanistan.....how our military members are going about keeping us safe......what has been going on now for almost 10 years.....

Afghan officials said Sunday that a NATO airstrike had killed 14 civilians, most of them women and children, in the southern province of Helmand on Saturday night.

.....

Witnesses said that an unknown number of bombs fell about 11 p.m. Saturday, landing on two family compounds in the Salaam Bazaar area of Now Zad District, a small farming community about 50 miles north of Lashkar Gah, the capital of Helmand Province.

Five girls, seven boys and two women were killed as they slept, the provincial governor’s office said in a statement. An additional six people were wounded.

Should Americans today be memorializing the dead children whom our U.S. occupying soldiers accidentally murdered Saturday night in some botched mission to "keep America free?" Do you think Afghanis will remember the children we killed? Would you?

The way to honor our military members today is to call for the end of our numerous wars of occupation in and around the middle east. In spite of our nation's admiration for military conquest and war machinery.....war doesn't really solve anything...it only kills people.

War kills women and children....it always does.

By all means, salute our military members today......but also remember, our biggest enemy is war itself. What is it good for? Absolutely nothing.

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