As usual this year on Memorial Day, I will mourn friends lost in Vietnam.
It’s somehow a different holiday for people who have served in uniform, or have attended high school with, or even dated, the people behind the names inscribed on a wall honoring the fallen soldiers.
As I write this, we will apparently observe Memorial Day this year by sending National Guard troops to the Texas-Mexican border. Several of the people I know have predicted that we may end up in another war with Mexico, or at least the drug lords who run Mexico now. (Some are more gleeful about this proposition than others.)
What are we going to do, post troops and create more mourned veterans and more names on walls?
Jamaica is actively safeguarding — with guns — Mr. Christopher Coke (apparently his real name) who is more than simply ignoring orders of extradition to the United States to face charges stemming from allegations that he is a drug lord who is trafficking arms and people to our shores.
We still see no real end — with or without the honor of saving face — to the wars in Iran and Afghanistan, and an escalation of the Taliban in the latter country, where killing of Americans has evidently become a Taliban sport even as we spend millions to “turn” them into passive, peacekeeping, pro-American poppy growers.
Just heard that the European financial market is crashing — Greece, Italy, Spain, Ireland, if not more, and that this is to adversely affect our already dour economy.
Phoenix, AZ, is laying off a large number of workers in entertainment and hotel industries as people across the nation protest the latest immigration policy law, with 1,300 National Guardsmen being sent at the request ot the AZ governor.
Also this Memorial Day, as if we needed more, I just heard from my TV almost always set on CNN that the U.S. is training with South Korea’s military off the coast of Korea, because of North Korea’s likely being the source of the fire that resulted in the sinking of a South Korean ship.
And no one can figure out what to do about our financial crisis or governing or curtailing the ownership by corporations of our government.
Speaking of which, BP and the U.S. government, supposedly working together with their top scientists, have yet to stop the oil leak spreading across 75 miles so far and ruining the charter boat and fishing industry, let alone the restaurant and tourism business, of southern Louisiana.
Before it’s through, it may devestate industries and sea-friendly fish and wildlife in the Gulf for zillions of years in Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Texas and, if it reaches around the nation’s Florida Keys, the entire Eastern shore, spreading halfway or more to Western Europe.
Already, joining the oil that is choking the life out of fisheries, dolphin, etc., is 700,000 gallons of chemicals have been unleashed in so-far failed attempts to “eat” all the oil.
When taken together — or even one at a time — it kind of makes sense to just take in the red, white and blue, star-shooting, firecracker-popping bargains and super sales, or just lay back and open few cold ones, and listen to Lee Greenwood sing about how proud he is to be an American, right?
It’s the new patriotism and salve for our All-American mess.