See also, here. This post includes a May 24 Letter from an American that deals specifically with the 100,000 casualties, thus far, from the COVID-19 Pandemic. Peter Barus’ May 22 post, here, has much food for thought for all of us, relating to the current state of our country and the globe itself. Take the time….
Today, 16 of us joined a Zoom for the annual Vets for Peace gathering. It was different, but it worked well. Here’s a bad photo (problem with my camera)…but you get the idea. I suspect Zoom, et al, is becoming a new normal for all of us.
Everyone has their own point of view about/on this day. This is a good day to practice the difficult skill of dialogue. Here are some points of view, just from today.
Larry, former VFP President, referred us to a couple of letters in todays Minneapolis Star Tribune:
This Memorial Day feels different during this time of pandemic. Usually we honor our military, especially those who have died. Now, however, we seem to be expanding our thoughts about sacrifice and service. In my neighborhood, I see handmade signs on trash bins thanking sanitation workers for their service, signs near mailboxes thanking postal delivery people. We now hear grocery workers being mentioned as being “on the front lines,” of medical workers who have died from COVID-19 exposure as the “fallen.” It seems that we may be reconsidering what work actually keeps us safe, what forgotten service also implies sacrifice and also deserves our praise.
None of this is to diminish sincerely held willingness to do military service. But why do we honor only those? But perhaps the most profound honor we could give to military heroes would be to stop sending them to endless wars, perhaps to die or perhaps to live the rest of their lives impaired by wounds seen or unseen. Perhaps the greatest honor we could give our military “fallen” would be to stop making so many of them.
CHARLES UNDERWOOD, MINNEAPOLIS
Sudden death lurks among us, sharpening our vision about what really matters. We demand that our legislators act to protect our loved ones according to our best science — not caving to talking points geared to wishful thinking. Will the coming special session stand out as Minnesota cares, or Minnesota kills?
As our state legislators debate where to focus our resources, let’s all remember that federal support for essential state and local needs has been shifted to wasteful Pentagon spending. Our country has stockpiled more than enough bombs to annihilate the world, but not enough virus-shielding gear to keep our health care providers alive. The U.S. has spent or obligated $6.4 trillion on wars in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Syria and Iraq, but we don’t have enough basic materials to test for a killer virus.
Let’s take a collective deep breath and realize: We need to shift from a culture of war to a culture of care. We demand that our legislators act to protect Minnesota lives with today’s 2020 vision. We have more than enough; we need to prioritize care.
AMY BLUMENSHINE, MINNEAPOLIS
Norm, long-time friend and activist, sent an e-mail recalling the day (Norm amended by addition today, and it is added at the end of the post):
Tom, commander of the local American Legion, did basic a couple of years before me at Ft. Carson and sent several e-mails, in part:
Amended by addition by Norm: