Thursday, November 11, 2004

Veteran's Day

I confess, until a few years ago, (you can figure out when), I really didn't give much thought to Veteran's Day. To me, it was just another one of those days when the mail doesn't come and you can't go to the bank. But I guess having a war on, (a major offensive today, no less), makes you really think about what's going on over there. Of course, the President doesn't want us to think about it. In fact, he has suggested, in as many words, that it's unpatriotic to worry about what happens on the battlefield. He discourages reporters from interviewing wounded vets, he forbids the filming of the flag-draped caskets coming home, he refuses to attend a single Iraq war vet's funeral.

Well, war is a bitch, Mr. President. And as much as it turns our stomach to think about what you've done, we should make it a matter of honor to, in no doubt the smallest way possible, try to understand what our troops go through. They won't be sitting comfortably at Arlington National Cemetery, making some pro-war remarks. They won't be gathering flowers and sweets from the grateful Iraqis that they've "liberated." No - they're facing death every minute of every day. Something your father and John Kerry both knew something about. The only death you faced in wartime was possible alcohol poisoning or a coke overdose.

The television tonight presents an opportunity to gather some perspective about the situation we've gotten these kids into.

ABC is airing Saving Private Ryan tonight at 8pm Eastern. It's not the best war movie ever made, but it certainly depicts the horrors of battle in a very direct way. Mad props to Steven Spielberg for insisting that it be aired completely unedited, and to ABC for doing so. Of course, the powers-that-be don't want you to watch, with some bullshit story about inappropriate language and violence. They just don't want you reevaluating your pro-war fervor with any concern for the troops. Well, watch it anyway, if your local affiliate isn't one of the Big Brother stations.

Perhaps even better, at 9pm Eastern - HBO's Last Letters Home, a documentary in which the families of soldiers read the last letter they sent before they were killed. Sounds almost impossible to watch, but you know, when you consider what they've given up for us, the least we can do is TiVo tonight's normal TV fare and listen to the last thing they'll ever say.

And Mr. President, (because I know you read this every day), maybe you should watch too. Maybe then, you wouldn't send these poor kids off to die on any more of your half-baked world domination schemes.

No comments: