Ah, Memorial Day – let me share some memories.
How about that Mai Lai massacre? I read about that in newspapers when I was about 8 years old. It was in the papers for years, every sick detail. I read about American soldiers torturing and murdering a village of old people, women, children, even infants, cutting off their body parts for souvenirs. When their commander, William Calley, was convicted of wrong doing, I read an outpouring of support for the man, protests that he was just doing his job when he allowed a bunch of teenagers in his supervision to commit human atrocities. How’d you like to live next door to one of those guys?
I remember The Napalm Girl. I was 9 years old when her village was bombed with a flammable liquid, that “was initially used as an incendiary device against buildings and later primarily as an anti-personnel weapon, as it sticks to skin and causes severe burns when on fire.” Photos of her running down a dirt road, naked, with strips of her own skin flapping in the breeze, were on the front page of every newspaper.
My family didn’t believe in sheltering children from reality. Nobody sheltered those Vietnamese children from reality.
I was watching morning television with my kids on 9-11. We were watching morning television a year or so later when the news ran footage of a stretch of Iraqi highway bombed by US war planes. The road was filled bumper to bumper with burned out cars. The tops of the cars were just melted off, but you could see they were sedans, some of them newer models – once filled with civilians trying to escape the violence. In the brief footage, there were skeletal remains visible in some of the cars. They only played that footage once, I never saw it or heard anything about it. My kids saw it. We were watching Martha Stewart or something and they just busted to a news flash. FLASH! Your military is out there murdering in your name!
The bombing of an Afghani wedding got more coverage, but the government never stopped claiming they had intelligence that indicated subversive activities, despite video tapes from wedding guests that showed a wedding.
I’m sick of remembering. I don’t think we should have holidays like this.